Milton Packer proposes a novel approach to rapid dissemination of new information
It happens every day — great ideas, relevant data, worthy interpretations, and important events that the medical community never hears about.
Or the converse, how much is published, which probably shouldn’t be. This interesting piece reflects on what is wrong with the current approach to scientific publishing and proposes a different approach. We suspect few would disagree with the idea that changes are required, but there might be disagreement about the way we should proceed. This is an interesting openings to an important discussion. We have include links to 3 read related items.
An investigative team has completed a large-scale trial, the primary results of which have been presented. The researchers are publishing many secondary papers, but in examining the analyses, there is one table of very intriguing data that does not easily fit into one of the planned manuscripts. The group suggests: “This deserves to be published, but it will be difficult to create a full-length manuscript for it.” The data never see the light of day.
A major trial yields disappointing neutral results, but the lead investigator selectively identifies datapoints in order to weave a story that suggests that the new drug might be effective, at least under some circumstances. Many in the audience strongly disagree with the way that the data have been spun and suggest that someone should write an editorial to explain how the data should be presented and interpreted. The paper is never written.