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Meta-Science 101 (Single Post)

(Comic taken from xkcd, here)

Part 1: An introduction

Science is in dire straits.

As you may know, a white man in a position of power has recently been criticizing science relentlessly, and it seems like that will continue to be the norm for at least the next four years.   10,815 more words


Meta-Science 101, Part 9: A conclusion

Let’s review.

Science in theory is pretty great, but in practice, science is done by people.  People have flaws, and these flaws infiltrate scientific practice.  Confirmation bias translates into researcher allegiance bias; you’re more likely to obtain a positive result if you believe in the hypothesis you’re testing.   1,109 more words


Meta-Science 101, Part 8: Snakes at the top

Now that we’re at the top of the epistemic pyramid, let’s see what diamonds we can find up here.  Here’s one systematic review that says… 1,451 more words


Meta-Science 101, Part 7: The replication crisis

“Your work never gets replicated, but if it was, the replication might not have confirmed your finding.”

In the last section, I ended off with a graph showing that higher-impact-factor journals have more retractions.   1,404 more words


Meta-Science 101, Part 6: Publication bias

“Meanwhile, alternate-universe-you that didn’t find a statistically significant result doesn’t publish. The results sit in a file drawer.”

If you’re suffering from depression, have you asked your doctor about reboxetine? 920 more words


Meta-Science 101, Part 5: Academic funding and the pressure to publish

“In the end, you publish…guaranteeing you funding for a while.”

“Publish or perish” has become a sort of sad mantra for academics.  All across the world, university faculty are feeling more and more pressure to push out publications.   1,024 more words


Meta-Science 101, Part 4: Bias and randomness in the peer review process

“Researchers in your field receive your manuscript for peer review, and make semi-arbitrary recommendations to the editor.”

Peer review seems like a good idea.  To publish in a certain journal, your work should pass a certain standard of quality associated with that journal.   1,449 more words