Is selective reporting of clinical research unethical as well as unscientific ?
Studies that do not confirm their prior hypotheses, otherwise called « negative » studies, receive less interest from different parties including authors, editors and sponsors, and so, not to publish such studies is a common phenomenon.
Opinions differ on whether or not this phenomenon introduces imprecision into the assessment of health research and care.
The current paper gives arguments against and in favor of publishing « negative » trials, and tries to give suggestions for a more balanced approach to this problem.
Arguments against publishing « negative » trials include :
we need not publish erroneously « negative » trials ;
we need not publish a « negative » study out of worry that the favored treatment is inferior ;
full-length reports of « negative » trials devaluate the quality of literature, because the data are usually not so important, and generally receive little interest from readers, and so, not to publish them is a more or less « natural » matter of course.
Arguments in favor of publishing « negative » trials include :
no report reduces the flow of information because « negative » trials provide at least some evidence and balance against the overwhelming power of positive data readily accepted for publication ;
no report violates the promise to patient participants ;
studies that do not confirm prior hypotheses are especially important ;
not-publishing leads to unnecessary repetition of research. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Essai clinique, Randomisation, Recherche scientifique, Industrie pharmaceutique, Ethique, Document publié, Recommandation
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Clinical trial, Randomization, Scientific research, Pharmaceutical industry, Ethics, Published document, Recommendation
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0114948
Code Inist : 002B30A09. Création : 16/11/1999.