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JAMA. 2002 Jun 5;287(21):2765-7.

Poor-quality medical research: what can journals do?

Author information

1
Cancer Research UK/NHS Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LF, England. doug.altman@cancer.org.uk

Abstract

The aim of medical research is to advance scientific knowledge and hence--directly or indirectly--lead to improvements in the treatment and prevention of disease. Each research project should continue systematically from previous research and feed into future research. Each project should contribute beneficially to a slowly evolving body of research. A study should not mislead; otherwise it could adversely affect clinical practice and future research. In 1994 I observed that research papers commonly contain methodological errors, report results selectively, and draw unjustified conclusions. Here I revisit the topic and suggest how journal editors can help.

PMID:
12038906
DOI:
10.1001/jama.287.21.2765
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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