An interesting discussion on improving the value and I impact when we report the results of clinical trials. This an incredibly persuasive argument for open science. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of quickly spotting shonky research and being able to reproduce promising work.
This paper covers a discussion on the influence of reporting guidelines on trials and issues with the use of CONSORT as a measure of quality. Dr. Moher also addresses how the overwhelming body of COVID-19 research reflects the “publish or perish” paradigm in academia and why improvement in the reporting of trials requires policy initiatives from research institutions and funding agencies. We also discuss the rise of publication bias and other questionable reporting practices. To combat this, Dr. Moher believes open science and training initiatives led by institutions can foster research integrity, including the trustworthiness of researchers, institutions, and journals, as well as counter threats posed by predatory journals. He highlights how metrics like journal impact factor and quantity of publications also harm research integrity. Dr. Moher also discussed the importance of meta-science, the study of how research is carried out, which can help to evaluate audit and feedback systems and their effect on open science practices.
Dr. Moher advocates for policy to further improve the reporting of trials and health research. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how a lack of open science practices and flawed systems incentivizing researchers to publish can harm research integrity. There is a need for a culture shift in assessing careers and “productivity” in academia, and this requires collaborative top-down and bottom-up approaches.
Lawson, D.O., Wang, M.K., Kim, K.,0 Eikelboom, R., Rodrigues, M., Trapsa, D., Thabane, L. & Moher, D. (2022) Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent developments on the communication of clinical trials, publishing practices, and research integrity: in conversation with Dr. David Moher. Trials 23(671), https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-022-06624-y
Publisher (Open Access): https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-022-06624-y