[Research] Weak statistics in research
the economist about "what is published in scientific journals may not be as true as it should be".
SCIENTIFIC and medical journals, with their august panels of peer reviewers and fact checkers, are not the sort of places many mistakes are to be expected. Yet Emili García-Berthou and Carles Alcaraz, two researchers at the University of Girona in Spain, have found that 38% of a sample of papers in Nature, and a quarter of those sampled in the British Medical Journal (BMJ)—two of the world's most respected journals—contained one or more statistical errors. Not all of these errors led to erroneous conclusions, but the authors of the study, which has just been published in BMC Medical Research Methodology, another journal, reckon that 4% of the errors may have caused non-significant findings to be misrepresented as being significant.