1. Click here to sign the "Publish the NICE ME/CFS Guideline Now" petition.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, the 'News in Brief' for the week beginning 13th September 2021 is here.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Welcome! To read the Core Purpose and Values of our forum, click here.
    Dismiss Notice

Science magazine, Landmark research integrity survey finds questionable practices are surprisingly common, 2021

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Michiel Tack, Jul 8, 2021.

  1. Michiel Tack

    Michiel Tack Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,619
    Location:
    Belgium
    More than half of Dutch scientists regularly engage in questionable research practices, such as hiding flaws in their research design or selectively citing literature, according to a new study. And one in 12 admitted to committing a more serious form of research misconduct within the past 3 years: the fabrication or falsification of research results.

    Full text: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/202...uestionable-practices-are-surprisingly-common
     
    JohnTheJack, Sid, sebaaa and 24 others like this.
  2. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Australia
  3. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,044
    Depressing findings, but I wonder what those figures would be for BPS researchers looking at ME/CFS, FND, MUS, Long Covid, etc.

    [added - what is the impact of using subjective self reporting in surveys of research malpractice and scientific fraud on the results. Would objective outcome measures been better science?]
     
    Lidia, sebaaa, Simbindi and 7 others like this.
  4. Michiel Tack

    Michiel Tack Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,619
    Location:
    Belgium
    I suspect there is less fraud in the BPS literature on ME/CFS because the authors can use many other techniques to fabricate positive findings, that are accepted by journal editors such as a waiting list control group or manipulating how patients report their symptoms etc.
    So there would be less need to commit outright fraud or other questionable practices.

    Fabrication of results usually results in findings that look too good to be true. In ME/CFS, findings look too bad to be fabricated.
     
    sebaaa, Simbindi, alktipping and 9 others like this.
  5. Michiel Tack

    Michiel Tack Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,619
    Location:
    Belgium
    Some of the most questionable research practices in the survey were "“Not submitting or resubmitting valid negative studies for publication" and “Insufficient inclusion of study flaws and limitations in publications". I suspect these are quite prevalent in the BPS literature on ME/CFS.
     
    sebaaa, Simbindi, alktipping and 9 others like this.
  6. Aslaug

    Aslaug Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,420
    Cherry picking the litterature is rampant in BPS, though.
     
    sebaaa, Simbindi, alktipping and 7 others like this.
  7. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,676
    And cherry picking the interpretation of the literature they do cite.
     
    sebaaa, Simbindi, alktipping and 9 others like this.
  8. Aslaug

    Aslaug Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,420
    What, are you expecting people to read beyond the positive spin in the abstract and judge for themselves? :laugh:
     
    Simbindi, alktipping, MEMarge and 6 others like this.
  9. FMMM1

    FMMM1 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,176
    Makes you wonder - why would scientists own up?
     
    Simbindi, alktipping, MEMarge and 4 others like this.
  10. petrichor

    petrichor Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    221
    Doing good research is hard, and almost involves setting yourself up to fail, and the incentives to publish research and pressure of the environment make this not particularly surprising.

    In the context of ME/CFS, designing a good trial of unblinded treatments would be very difficult, involve a lot of groundwork, and require some pretty innovative thinking in order to account for the nature of ME/CFS and an unblinded trial. You could do all of that, and get a null result, or follow pretty much generally accepted practices in the field, and have a positive result. I assume the incentives are the same in other research fields.
     
  11. Adrian

    Adrian Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,676
    Location:
    UK
    The figure would be 0 as they have no concept of what may be questionable
     
  12. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,676
    It's not a lie if you believe it's true. :speechless:
     
  13. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,723
    Location:
    UK
    That depends how you measure failure. A really well set up trial of CBT/GET as PACE should have been, given the time it took and the cost, and the claimed expertise of those running it, would have used a properly characterised patient grou, clinicially valid objective primary outcomes and a longer follow up time. If that fould that the treatments don't work, as undoubtedly it would, then that should be regarded as a success, finally proving that the treatments don't work. Getting a null result is important information that advances knowledge, it's not failure.
     
    JemPD, sebaaa, Simbindi and 13 others like this.
  14. Keela Too

    Keela Too Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    Sally Burch - Northern Ireland
    Yes.

    But sadly our world is not set up like that. Society remembers those who make new discoveries.

    Correcting the record without making a new discovery is not well regarded. It’s a bit like the science equivalent of “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    If someone says X is wrong, without providing a clearly true new answer, then they are being negative. Or maybe they did something wrong in their work, because X is established truth, so it carries on being regarded as true.

    Null results just aren’t exciting, so even if recorded they slide beneath society’s gaze. :(
     
  15. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    10,127
    I completely agree.

    Back in the days of "honest" science, how many discoveries were made by accident though? An interested researcher realizing that although their experiment didn't show the expected result, something worth further investigation was found along the way.
     
    JemPD, sebaaa, Simbindi and 9 others like this.
  16. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    7,283
    Location:
    Canada
    At least double the average. Probably far higher.
     
    JemPD, TiredSam, Simbindi and 2 others like this.
  17. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,573
    Location:
    Germany
    Perhaps because they're sick of a system that they feel pressures them into behaving like that if they want to get on?
     
    JemPD, Michelle, FMMM1 and 4 others like this.
  18. Sid

    Sid Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    474
    I suspect there is little to no outright fraud in CFS research because they know their work tends to be scrutinised with a fine tooth comb. They don’t need to fabricate data, though, to obtain desired results since they can just rig the outcome by using laughably biased outcome measures.
     
  19. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,148
    They used to cherry pick patients to get the results they want but after the clinics began I think it might have been harder for them so nowadays they just get bad results and spin them in the bits people read.
     
    JemPD, Snow Leopard and Michelle like this.
  20. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,466
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    Here's another article about questionable research getting published.

    I think this article belongs on this thread but if I'm mistaken please let me know and I'll ask moderators to move it somewhere else.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/iverme...ge-wake-up-call-for-fraud-in-covid-19-science
     
    Lidia, Michelle and Snowdrop like this.

Share This Page