Saturday, May 29, 2004

Figures don't always add up

Statistical flaws revealed in top journals' papers news service, 28th May 2004

"Two of the world's top scientific journals, Nature and the British Medical Journal, have been found guilty of routinely publishing figures that do not add up.

The analysis revealed that at least one error appeared in 38 per cent of the Nature papers and 25 per cent of the BMJ papers looked at. Furthermore, the study estimates that four per cent of results reported to be statistically "significant" may not be significant after all."

Complete article at New Scientist.
It's not a conspiracy of lies but more an indication of sloppiness due to the pace of publishing. The number of papers sampled seemed very small anyways. But it does reflect the "publish and be dammed" principle. End of the day its your name on the article.

No comments: