Monday, September 22, 2014

B - Publication bias in social sciences

Franco A, Malhotra N, Simonovits G. Publication bias in the social sciences: unlocking the file drawer. Science 2014;345(6203):1502-1505
(doi: 10.1126/science.1255484)

The authors examined every study since 2002 that was funded by TESS (Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences),  a national grants programme adopting a rigorous peer review for proposals submitted. They found a strong relationship between the results of a study and whether it was published, a pattern indicative of publication bias. Selective reporting of scientific findings is often referred to as the "file drawer" problem. Although around half of the total studies in the sample were published, only 20% of those with null results appeared in print. In contrast, about 60% of studies with strong results and 50% of those with mixed results were published What is perhaps most striking is not that so few null results are published, but that so many of them are never even written up (65%).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25170047

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