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J Clin Epidemiol. 2016 Sep;77:44-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.04.012. Epub 2016 May 7.

Peer reviewers identified spin in manuscripts of nonrandomized studies assessing therapeutic interventions, but their impact on spin in abstract conclusions was limited.

Author information

1
INSERM, UMR 1153, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Sorbonne Paris Cité Center (CRESS), METHODS Team 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, Paris, France; Paris Descartes University, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Faculté de Médecine, 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, Paris, France; Centre d'Epidémiologie Clinique, AP-HP (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris), 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, ​Paris, France.
2
INSERM, UMR 1153, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Sorbonne Paris Cité Center (CRESS), METHODS Team 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, Paris, France; Paris Descartes University, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Faculté de Médecine, 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, Paris, France.
3
INSERM, UMR 1153, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Sorbonne Paris Cité Center (CRESS), METHODS Team 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, Paris, France; Paris Descartes University, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Faculté de Médecine, 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, Paris, France; Centre d'Epidémiologie Clinique, AP-HP (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris), 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, ​Paris, France; Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 22 W 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.
4
Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Botnar Research Centre, Windmill Road, Oxford OX3 7LD, UK.
5
INSERM, UMR 1153, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Sorbonne Paris Cité Center (CRESS), METHODS Team 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, Paris, France; Paris Descartes University, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Faculté de Médecine, 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, Paris, France; Centre d'Epidémiologie Clinique, AP-HP (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris), 1 place du Parvis Notre Dame 75004, ​Paris, France. Electronic address: isabelle.boutron@htd.aphp.fr.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To describe the impact of peer reviewers on spin in reports of nonrandomized studies assessing a therapeutic intervention.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:

This is a systematic review and retrospective before-after study. The sample consists of primary reports (n = 128) published in BioMed Central Medical Series journals between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2013. The main outcome measures are the following: number and type of spin examples identified, deleted, or added by peer reviewers in the whole manuscript; number of reports with spin in abstract conclusions not detected by peer reviewers; the level of spin (i.e., no, low, moderate, and high level of spin) in the abstract conclusions before and after the peer review.

RESULTS:

For 70 (55%) submitted manuscripts, peer reviewers identified at least one example of spin. Of 123 unique examples of spin identified by peer reviewers, 82 (67%) were completely deleted by the authors. For 19 articles (15%), peer reviewers requested adding some spin, and for 11 (9%), the spin was added by the authors. Peer reviewers failed to identify spin in abstract conclusions of 97 (76%) reports.

CONCLUSION:

Peer reviewers identified many examples of spin in submitted manuscripts. However, their influence on changing spin in the abstract conclusions was low.

KEYWORDS:

Abstract; Nonrandomized studies; Peer review; Quality reporting; Spin

PMID:
27164274
DOI:
10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.04.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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