Saturday, July 19, 2008

Time to publication- how important time lag is?

I have never written on research methodology in my site. For young researchers I would like to present the following summary of a recent article by Hopewell S et al.

Hopewell S et al’s methodology review was to assess whether the time taken to publish the results of clinical trials is influenced by the statistical significance of their results (time-lag bias). If clinical trials with positive findings are stopped earlier than planned and published quicker than those trials with null or negative findings, then new interventions might be mistakenly assumed to be effective.
Their review shows that trials with positive results are published sooner than other trials. This has important implications for the timing of the initiation and updating of a review, especially if there is an association between the inclusion of a trial in a review and its publication status. It is of particular concern when one considers reviews containing only a small number of studies.

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