University of Oulu

Nieminen P, Toljamo T, Vähänikkilä H. Reporting data analysis methods in high-impact respiratory journals. ERJ Open Res 2018; 4: 00140-2017 [].

Reporting data analysis methods in high-impact respiratory journals

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Author: Nieminen, Pentti1; Toljamo, Tuula2; Vähänikkilä, Hannu1
Organizations: 1Medical Informatics and Data Analysis Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Dept of Pulmonary Diseases, Lapland Central Hospital, Rovaniemi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: European Respiratory Society, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-06-19


Data analysis methods play an important role in respiratory research. We evaluated the application and complexity of data analytical methods in high-impact respiratory journals and compared the statistical reporting in these respiratory articles with reports published in other eminent medical journals.

This study involved a total of 160 papers published in 2015 in the European Respiratory Journal, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Chest and Thorax, and 680 papers published between 2007–2015 in other medical journals including the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine. We manually reviewed the articles to determine the way in which they reported the methods applied in data analysis.

The statistical intensity in the respiratory journals was equal to that in eminent medical journals. Traditional ways of testing statistical significance were widely used in respiratory articles. Statistical procedures were not always described in sufficient detail, and the prominent respiratory journals did not display different profiles with respect to their statistical content.

Readers of the prominent respiratory journals need to possess a substantial level of statistical expertise if they wish to critically evaluate the design, methodology, data analysis and interpretation of the findings published in these journals.

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Series: ERJ open research
ISSN: 2312-0541
ISSN-E: 2312-0541
ISSN-L: 2312-0541
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Article number: 00140-2017
DOI: 10.1183/23120541.00140-2017
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 518 Media and communications
319 Forensic science and other medical sciences
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Copyright information: Copyright ©ERS 2018. This article is open access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Licence 4.0.