Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research

Paul Glasziou, Douglas G. Altman, Patrick Bossuyt, Isabelle Boutron, Mike Clarke, Steven Julious, Susan Michie, David Moher, Elizabeth Wager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

494 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research publication can both communicate and miscommunicate. Unless research is adequately reported, the time and resources invested in the conduct of research is wasted. Reporting guidelines such as CONSORT, STARD, PRISMA, and ARRIVE aim to improve the quality of research reports, but all are much less adopted and adhered to than they should be. Adequate reports of research should clearly describe which questions were addressed and why, what was done, what was shown, and what the fi ndings mean. However, substantial failures occur in each of these elements. For example, studies of published trial reports showed that the poor description of interventions meant that 40-89% were non-replicable; comparisons of protocols with publications showed that most studies had at least one primary outcome changed, introduced, or omitted; and investigators of new trials rarely set their fi ndings in the context of a systematic review, and cited a very small and biased selection of previous relevant trials. Although best documented in reports of controlled trials, inadequate reporting occurs in all types of studies-animal and other preclinical studies, diagnostic studies, epidemiological studies, clinical prediction research, surveys, and qualitative studies. In this report, and in the Series more generally, we point to a waste at all stages in medical research. Although a more nuanced understanding of the complex systems involved in the conduct, writing, and publication of research is desirable, some immediate action can be taken to improve the reporting of research. Evidence for some recommendations is clear: change the current system of research rewards and regulations to encourage better and more complete reporting, and fund the development and maintenance of infrastructure to support better reporting, linkage, and archiving of all elements of research. However, the high amount of waste also warrants future investment in the monitoring of and research into reporting of research, and active implementation of the fi ndings to ensure that research reports better address the needs of the range of research users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalThe Lancet
Volume383
Issue number9913
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Biomedical Research
Research
Publications
Qualitative Research
Financial Management
Reward
Epidemiologic Studies
Maintenance
Research Personnel
Guidelines

Cite this

Glasziou, P., Altman, D. G., Bossuyt, P., Boutron, I., Clarke, M., Julious, S., ... Wager, E. (2014). Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research. The Lancet, 383(9913), 267-276. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62228-X
Glasziou, Paul ; Altman, Douglas G. ; Bossuyt, Patrick ; Boutron, Isabelle ; Clarke, Mike ; Julious, Steven ; Michie, Susan ; Moher, David ; Wager, Elizabeth. / Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research. In: The Lancet. 2014 ; Vol. 383, No. 9913. pp. 267-276.
@article{a1f410147dd0411c8b691e40f38578e5,
title = "Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research",
abstract = "Research publication can both communicate and miscommunicate. Unless research is adequately reported, the time and resources invested in the conduct of research is wasted. Reporting guidelines such as CONSORT, STARD, PRISMA, and ARRIVE aim to improve the quality of research reports, but all are much less adopted and adhered to than they should be. Adequate reports of research should clearly describe which questions were addressed and why, what was done, what was shown, and what the fi ndings mean. However, substantial failures occur in each of these elements. For example, studies of published trial reports showed that the poor description of interventions meant that 40-89{\%} were non-replicable; comparisons of protocols with publications showed that most studies had at least one primary outcome changed, introduced, or omitted; and investigators of new trials rarely set their fi ndings in the context of a systematic review, and cited a very small and biased selection of previous relevant trials. Although best documented in reports of controlled trials, inadequate reporting occurs in all types of studies-animal and other preclinical studies, diagnostic studies, epidemiological studies, clinical prediction research, surveys, and qualitative studies. In this report, and in the Series more generally, we point to a waste at all stages in medical research. Although a more nuanced understanding of the complex systems involved in the conduct, writing, and publication of research is desirable, some immediate action can be taken to improve the reporting of research. Evidence for some recommendations is clear: change the current system of research rewards and regulations to encourage better and more complete reporting, and fund the development and maintenance of infrastructure to support better reporting, linkage, and archiving of all elements of research. However, the high amount of waste also warrants future investment in the monitoring of and research into reporting of research, and active implementation of the fi ndings to ensure that research reports better address the needs of the range of research users.",
author = "Paul Glasziou and Altman, {Douglas G.} and Patrick Bossuyt and Isabelle Boutron and Mike Clarke and Steven Julious and Susan Michie and David Moher and Elizabeth Wager",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62228-X",
language = "English",
volume = "383",
pages = "267--276",
journal = "Lancet",
issn = "0140-6736",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "9913",

}

Glasziou, P, Altman, DG, Bossuyt, P, Boutron, I, Clarke, M, Julious, S, Michie, S, Moher, D & Wager, E 2014, 'Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research', The Lancet, vol. 383, no. 9913, pp. 267-276. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62228-X

Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research. / Glasziou, Paul; Altman, Douglas G.; Bossuyt, Patrick; Boutron, Isabelle; Clarke, Mike; Julious, Steven; Michie, Susan; Moher, David; Wager, Elizabeth.

In: The Lancet, Vol. 383, No. 9913, 2014, p. 267-276.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research

AU - Glasziou, Paul

AU - Altman, Douglas G.

AU - Bossuyt, Patrick

AU - Boutron, Isabelle

AU - Clarke, Mike

AU - Julious, Steven

AU - Michie, Susan

AU - Moher, David

AU - Wager, Elizabeth

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Research publication can both communicate and miscommunicate. Unless research is adequately reported, the time and resources invested in the conduct of research is wasted. Reporting guidelines such as CONSORT, STARD, PRISMA, and ARRIVE aim to improve the quality of research reports, but all are much less adopted and adhered to than they should be. Adequate reports of research should clearly describe which questions were addressed and why, what was done, what was shown, and what the fi ndings mean. However, substantial failures occur in each of these elements. For example, studies of published trial reports showed that the poor description of interventions meant that 40-89% were non-replicable; comparisons of protocols with publications showed that most studies had at least one primary outcome changed, introduced, or omitted; and investigators of new trials rarely set their fi ndings in the context of a systematic review, and cited a very small and biased selection of previous relevant trials. Although best documented in reports of controlled trials, inadequate reporting occurs in all types of studies-animal and other preclinical studies, diagnostic studies, epidemiological studies, clinical prediction research, surveys, and qualitative studies. In this report, and in the Series more generally, we point to a waste at all stages in medical research. Although a more nuanced understanding of the complex systems involved in the conduct, writing, and publication of research is desirable, some immediate action can be taken to improve the reporting of research. Evidence for some recommendations is clear: change the current system of research rewards and regulations to encourage better and more complete reporting, and fund the development and maintenance of infrastructure to support better reporting, linkage, and archiving of all elements of research. However, the high amount of waste also warrants future investment in the monitoring of and research into reporting of research, and active implementation of the fi ndings to ensure that research reports better address the needs of the range of research users.

AB - Research publication can both communicate and miscommunicate. Unless research is adequately reported, the time and resources invested in the conduct of research is wasted. Reporting guidelines such as CONSORT, STARD, PRISMA, and ARRIVE aim to improve the quality of research reports, but all are much less adopted and adhered to than they should be. Adequate reports of research should clearly describe which questions were addressed and why, what was done, what was shown, and what the fi ndings mean. However, substantial failures occur in each of these elements. For example, studies of published trial reports showed that the poor description of interventions meant that 40-89% were non-replicable; comparisons of protocols with publications showed that most studies had at least one primary outcome changed, introduced, or omitted; and investigators of new trials rarely set their fi ndings in the context of a systematic review, and cited a very small and biased selection of previous relevant trials. Although best documented in reports of controlled trials, inadequate reporting occurs in all types of studies-animal and other preclinical studies, diagnostic studies, epidemiological studies, clinical prediction research, surveys, and qualitative studies. In this report, and in the Series more generally, we point to a waste at all stages in medical research. Although a more nuanced understanding of the complex systems involved in the conduct, writing, and publication of research is desirable, some immediate action can be taken to improve the reporting of research. Evidence for some recommendations is clear: change the current system of research rewards and regulations to encourage better and more complete reporting, and fund the development and maintenance of infrastructure to support better reporting, linkage, and archiving of all elements of research. However, the high amount of waste also warrants future investment in the monitoring of and research into reporting of research, and active implementation of the fi ndings to ensure that research reports better address the needs of the range of research users.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84892575232&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62228-X

DO - 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62228-X

M3 - Article

VL - 383

SP - 267

EP - 276

JO - Lancet

JF - Lancet

SN - 0140-6736

IS - 9913

ER -