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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Flawed Research In Science

Why So Much Science Research Is Flawed – and What to Do About It

Dodgy results are fuelling flawed policy decisions and undermining medical advances. They could even make us lose faith in science. New Scientist investigates

Sopnia van Gilder Cooke | April 13, 2016

Listening to When I’m Sixty-Four by The Beatles can make you younger. This miraculous effect, dubbed “chronological rejuvenation”, was revealed in the journal Psychological Science in 2011. It wasn’t a hoax, but you’d be right to be suspicious. The aim was to show how easy it is to generate statistical evidence for pretty much anything, simply by picking and choosing methods and data in ways that researchers do every day.

"Research paper publishing sting reveals lax standards of many open-access journals." (October 4, 2013) . "Peer review reviewed. Few journals did substantial review that identified the paper's flaws. Credit: 'Who's Afraid of Peer Review?' by John Bohannon, Science 4 October 2013: Vol. 342 no. 6154 pp. 60-65 DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6154.60." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (False-Positive Psychology. Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant. Joseph P. Simmons, Leif D. Nelson and Uri Simonsohn. Psychological Science, November 2011 vol. 22 no. 11 1359-1366. doi: 10.1177/0956797611417632. [Abstract: In this article, we accomplish two things. First, we show that despite empirical psychologists’ nominal endorsement of a low rate of false-positive findings (≤ .05), flexibility in data collection, analysis, and reporting dramatically increases actual false-positive rates. In many cases, a researcher is more likely to falsely find evidence that an effect exists than to correctly find evidence that it does not. We present computer simulations and a pair of actual experiments that demonstrate how unacceptably easy it is to accumulate (and report) statistically significant evidence for a false hypothesis. Second, we suggest a simple, low-cost, and straightforwardly effective disclosure-based solution to this problem. The solution involves six concrete requirements for authors and four guidelines for reviewers, all of which impose a minimal burden on the publication process.]) and (Physicists retract Nature paper on Earth’s core after findings aren’t reproducible. April 14, 2016)>

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