Truth Inflation and Groundbreaking Effect Sizes in top-ranked Journals

Consider also that top-ranked journals, such as Nature and Science, prefer to publish studies with groundbreaking results—meaning large effect sizes in novel fields with little prior research. This is a perfect combination for chronic truth inflation. Some evidence suggests a correlation between a journal’s impact factor (a rough measure of its prominence and importance) and the factor by which its studies overestimate effect sizes. Studies that produce less “exciting” results are closer to the truth but less interesting to a major journal editor. brembs2013 siontis2011

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References (2)

  1. Deep impact (2013) by Björn Brembs et al. 1 1 Mathematics Statistics
  2. Magnitude of Effects in Clinical Trials Published in high-impact General Medical Journals (2011) by Konstantinos CM Siontis et al. 1 1 Mathematics Statistics Science Audit