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How to Make More Published Research True

John P. A. Ioannidis. How to Make More Published Research True. PLoS Medicine, Published: October 21, 2014DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001747
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'The achievements of scientific research are amazing. Science has grown from the occupation of a few dilettanti into a vibrant global industry with more than 15,000,000 people authoring more than 25,000,000 scientific papers in 1996-­2011 alone [1]. However, true and readily applicable major discoveries are far fewer. Many new proposed associations and/or effects are false or grossly exaggerated [2],[3], and translation of knowledge into useful applications is often slow and potentially inefficient [4]. Given the abundance of data, research on research (i.e., meta-research) can derive empirical estimates of the prevalence of risk factors for high false-positive rates (underpowered studies; small effect sizes; low pre-study odds; flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, analyses; biases and conflicts of interest; bandwagon patterns; and lack of collaboration) [3]. Currently, an estimated 85% of research resources are wasted [5].

'We need effective interventions to improve the credibility and efficiency of scientific investigation. Some risk factors for false results are immutable, like small effect sizes, but others are modifiable. We must diminish biases, conflicts of interest, and fragmentation of efforts in favor of unbiased, transparent, collaborative research with greater standardization...

'Some Research Practices that May Help Increase the Proportion of True Research Findings
- Large-scale collaborative research...


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John P. A. Ioannidis

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