Scientific Studies Biased by Reward Systems

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The production of modern scientific studies is fundamentally biased and most often leads to unreliable results that no one will be funded to try to replicate, argue John Ioannidis and Muin Khoury in a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Scientists are typically rewarded for publishing articles, obtaining grants, and claiming novel, significant results. However, emphasis on publication can lead to least publishable units, authorship inflation, and potentially irreproducible results,” they write.

Authors of scientific studies are rewarded for “massaging data to obtain ‘positive’ results,” they continue, and owners of raw data have too many incentives not to share their data with competitors.

Assessing Value in Biomedical Research: The PQRST of Appraisal and Reward (Ioannidis John P. A. and Muin J. Khoury, Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2014. JAMA. 2014;312(5):483-484. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6932.)

1 COMMENT

  1. “Authors of scientific studies are rewarded for “massaging data to obtain ‘positive’ results,” they continue, and owners of raw data have too many incentives not to share their data with competitors.”
    Sadly as an insider I agree 100% percent. Scientific honesty is not being rewarded, instead you get recognition for how much you can hype up your results.

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