And the type catalogued. From ScienceDaily:
More than a quarter of biomedical scientific papers may utilize practices that distort the interpretation of results or mislead readers so that results are viewed more favorably, a new study suggests.
Their findings, published in PLOS Biology, found more than 26 percent of papers identified as systematic reviews or meta-analyses contained spin. This figure rose to up to 84 percent in papers reporting on nonrandomised trials.
While spin was variably defined across the 35 studies, a wide variety of strategies to spin results were identified including:
– making inappropriate claims about statistically non-significant results
– making inappropriate recommendations for clinical practice that were not supported by study results
– attributing causality when that was not possible
– selective reporting, such as emphasising only statistically significant or subsets of data in the conclusions
– presenting data in a more favourable light than was warranted, for example writing overly optimistic abstracts, misleadingly describing the study design and underreporting adverse events. Paper. (public access) – Kellia Chiu, Quinn Grundy, Lisa Bero. ‘Spin’ in published biomedical literature: A methodological systematic review. PLOS Biology, 2017; 15 (9): e2002173 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2002173 More.
If this kind of thing is accepted in science, lay people can’t change it. But what a nerve some people then have, berating the public for “not believing in science.” No wonder that in some research, it is the more educated people who are the doubters.
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See also: Study: More education leads to more doubt of science “consensus”