A Perspective on the Principles of Integrity in Infectious Disease Research

Kevin T Kavanagh, Stephen S Tower, Daniel M Saman
Journal of Patient Safety 2016, 12 (2): 57-62
The medical literature is prone to overstating results, a condition not thoroughly recognized among policymakers. This article sets forth examples of potential problems with research integrity in the infectious disease literature. We describe articles that may be spun, categories lumped together in hopes of creating a significant effect (and sometimes an insignificant one), changes in metrics, and how trials may fail because of suboptimal interventions. When examined together, the examples show that the problems are widespread and illustrate the difficulty associated with interpreting medical research. The state of the current medical literature makes it of utmost importance that all sections of the manuscript are read, including associated letters to the editors and information on before authors' recommendations are accepted.

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