Is Most Published Research Really False?

Posted: 21 Mar 2017

See all articles by Jeffrey T. Leek

Jeffrey T. Leek

Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health

Leah R. Jager

Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

There has been an increasing concern in both the scientific and lay communities that most published medical findings are false. But what does it mean to be false? Here we describe the range of definitions of false discoveries in the scientific literature. We summarize the philosophical, statistical, and experimental evidence for each type of false discovery. We discuss common underpinning problems with the scientific and data analytic practices and point to tools and behaviors that can be implemented to reduce the problems with published scientific results.

Suggested Citation

Leek, Jeffrey T. and Jager, Leah R., Is Most Published Research Really False? (March 2017). Annual Review of Statistics and Its Application, Vol. 4, Issue 1, pp. 109-122, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2937743 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-statistics-060116-054104

Jeffrey T. Leek (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health ( email )

615 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

Leah R. Jager

Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health ( email )

615 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

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