On Authorial Spin?: Over-Statements in Abstract Conclusions Claiming Effectiveness (BMJ Open)


It is widely thought that abstracts my exaggerate positive findings and beneficial effects arising from interventions. The authors propose a simple systematic approach to detect overstated abstracts and quantify their prevalence in randomised controlled trials published in psychiatry.

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Suganuma, AM. Shinohara, K. [and] Imai, H. [et al] (2016). Overstatements in abstract conclusions claiming effectiveness of interventions in psychiatry: a study protocol for a meta-epidemiological investigation. BMJ Open, April 21st 2016, Vol.6(4), pp.e009832. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Potential limitations:

“Owing to the nature of our framework, we will not be able to analyse other potential biases, such as selective reporting and publication bias”.