NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine - https://archive.org/web/.

Iain Chalmers on publication bias

Iain Chalmers, British health-services researcher, and founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, recently wrote a column, “Publish or Perish.”  Excerpts:

“…failure to publish research results is by far the most common and worrying form of scientific and ethical misconduct in health research – and it has had lethal consequences.

Anecdotal evidence of publication bias has existed for a long time. But, as requirements for registering clinical trials have become more stringent, its magnitude has become quantifiable: the results of at least half of the clinical trials involving patients and healthy volunteers remain unpublished years after completion. Studies with “negative” results are particularly unlikely to see the light of day. But neglecting to report research can lead to distorted clinical-practice recommendations, suffering, and death.

…the drug-discovery process suffers from built-in inefficiency, owing to inadequate reporting. But, while waste may be tolerable, avoidable harm to patients is not. Drug-trial volunteers should not accept this abuse of their participation in research. Failing to publish the results of clinical trials is a betrayal of the implicit trust that they have placed in researchers to use their contribution to increase and improve the stock of scientific knowledge.

Nor should the public accept this squandering of resources. There is simply no justification for withholding the results of health-research studies. Publication is a moral imperative.”

 

You might also like

Comments

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.

Comments are closed.