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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.

Original publication

DOI

10.1001/jama.287.21.2765

Type

Journal article

Journal

JAMA

Publication Date

06/2002

Volume

287

Pages

2765 - 2767

Addresses

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

Keywords

Peer Review, Research, Research Design, Publication Bias, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic