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To describe the impact of peer reviewers on spin in reports of nonrandomized studies assessing a therapeutic intervention.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.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.Peer reviewers identified many examples of spin in submitted manuscripts. However, their influence on changing spin in the abstract conclusions was low.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.04.012

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of clinical epidemiology

Publication Date

09/2016

Volume

77

Pages

44 - 51

Addresses

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.

Keywords

Humans, Retrospective Studies, Peer Review, Research, Bias (Epidemiology), Publishing, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Periodicals as Topic, Research Report