“According to a study …” How to do a serious study?

Since the onset of the Kovid-19 epidemic, you’ve heard it on all channels, you see it in all your social media channels: “A study says that…“”According to a publication …“. Words “Study“Easily gives weight to information. Some publications are all more reliable than others. So how to identify them? Elements of the answer.

It is published by a trusted magazine

The first step in ensuring the seriousness of a study is to verify the reliability of the site that publishes it. Some names carry more weight than others. In medicine, the British journal The Lancet, for example, is a benchmark. Many sites also list key publications, such as the National Union of Associations for Medical Training and Continuous Evaluation.

Regarding publication criteria, each publisher has its own rules, more or less strict. for example, “Medical hypothesis“A study was published last week, believed to have been carried out by Stanford University and spread of intoxication while wearing masks. Seeking information about the magazine, one finds the publication of its editor who proposes Explains for “Theoretical paper based on radical, speculative and non-traditional scientific ideas.

Its functioning is clear

The methodology is usually just below the results, in the first part and explains the experimental protocol that was followed. Take a study published on French mental health. Just below the objectives, we learn that regularly, 2,000 people selected according to the quota responded to the same online questionnaire on their mental health.

Three main questions for which the methodology part should be answered: How is the sample chosen? How is data collected? What data is collected? It is important that this method is respected so that the experiment can be redone on one side and to show that the scientists did not select the parameters of the study so that they could yield results.

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It’s done again

What validity does a publication get, is it proofread and by whom. Before being posted online by an editor, an article must be proofread by scientific reviewers. They will comment to fix, skip or publish the article. In most cases, the author does not know who is giving them the proof and the reviewer does not know the author’s name: it is a double blind system.

The problem with Kovid-19 publications is that you have to go fast and the process is usually not fast. We can see for example that this study on kitchen ventilation was sent on May 22, 2020 and could not be published until one year later on April 22.

Screenshot of a study on the Taylor online site.  (Screen Capital / Taylor & Francis online site)

Some studies are “Preprint”“Or” Online First “submitted by Lancet, which specifies that many of these papers have been re-read, but this is not the case for all. On June 2, 2020, the journal was to remove a study, previously Hee. On hydroxychloroquine after its review.

Authors are recognizable

The final step is to determine who did the study. There is often a long list of names in the authors’ observations (just below the publication title), but not all of them were included in the search. Some only proofread or approve the final version of the manuscript.

Therefore the following three questions are asked: Are authors known? Are they really experts in the field of study? Are they interested in publishing the results of their investigation. For example, we can investigate whether there are any differences between scientists and their studies.

So before sharing a study, be sure to check: if the journal it publishes is reliable, if the methodology used is reliable, if it has been re-read and if its authors are identifiable and serious. And two professors at the University of Washington say: “Any scientific article can be wrong

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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