Friday, February 12, 2016

Study: Transparency Lacking in Biomedical Literature

Study: Transparency Lacking in Biomedical Literature

Few authors make their full data available and most published papers do not clearly state funding sources and conflicts of interest.

Despite a push for transparency in science, full data disclosure may be close to non-existent among published studies. Of 441 randomly selected biomedical research papers analyzed in a new study, none provided access to all the authors’ data. And only one of these papers shared a complete protocol. The results of this analysis, which could shed light on science’s reproducibility problem, were published today (January 4 [2016]) in PLOS Biology.

“What was most surprising to me was the complete lack of data-sharing and protocol availability,” said study coauthor John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and health research and policy at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “That was worse than I would have predicted.”
This is a complete failure and abandonment of empirical scientific process. Apparently Journals have to have "stuff" to publish; and peer review is either superficial, non-existent, or done by collusion. There is no possible capture of science fraud in this environment, unless someone puts resources into replication, without full knowledge of the actual experimental process. And that likely happens only for subjects which provoke both interest and suspicion.

This is indicative of an internally corrupt culture, one that has values other than empiricism.

1 comment:

Hugo Pelland said...

I agree that this sounds scary and depressing. I would still not jump to such cynical conclusion though, as there are lots of fields, magazines, associations and universities that may or may not be as bad. I am not surprised that it comes from the biomedical field for instance, since that's where all the big pharma money goes, and I understand that corporations want to protect their billions of dollars in investment...

By the way, also on The Scientist...
Sorry, couldn't help ;-)