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To survey ophthalmologists regarding sources they trust when incorporating new medical knowledge into their practice. The survey was distributed primarily to US-based ophthalmologists. Questions were derived based on the lead author’s research experience from congresses and discussions and from mentions in the medical literature. In total, 77 physicians completed the survey of 1886 sent (4% response rate). Regarding study design, physicians preferred a well-controlled, randomised, double-masked trial (99%) with multicentred investigational site across a wide geographical area (80%). Authorship of a research article was most desired from a well-known key opinion leader (KOL) (75%) or any KOL leader at a university (75%). The most selected journal type was a subspecialty publication (86%) and second a multispecialty high impact journal (77%). Study sponsorship was most desired from the NIH or other government agencies (71%) or a university (71%). Doctors preferred clinical opinions from an ophthalmic medical society (75%). For the source of new clinical data, physicians indicated an unsponsored peer-reviewed journal article (77%) or a lecture at a large ophthalmic congress (74%) as the preferred source. Ophthalmologists generally desire sponsors, study designs and opinions that appear free of bias on which to base their clinical practice decisions.