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GMDS 2012: 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e. V. (GMDS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie

16. - 20.09.2012, Braunschweig

Statistical insights for scientific papers – a new UK initiative between science and press

Meeting Abstract

  • Arne Ring - Diabetes Trials Unit, OCDEM, University of Oxford, United Kongdom
  • Naomi Givens - GlaxoSmithKline, Stockley Park, Middlesex, United Kingom
  • Anna Larbalestier - Larbalestier Consulting Ltd, London, United Kingdom
  • Tom Sheldon - Science Media Centre, London, United Kingdom

GMDS 2012. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e.V. (GMDS). Braunschweig, 16.-20.09.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc12gmds190

DOI: 10.3205/12gmds190, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-12gmds1905

Published: September 13, 2012

© 2012 Ring et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Outline

Text

The Science Media Centre (SMC) in the UK has initiated "Before the Headlines" [1], a new service for busy science journalists who would like to report the results of a new scientific study in tomorrow’s newspaper.

This initiative aims to improve the quality of science media reporting by offering rapid statistical analysis of a scientific study, usually not an option for busy journalists. The analysis helps journalists quickly assess what conclusions can legitimately be drawn from the research and give greater context to a story. Journalists receive rapid independent statistical reviews of scientific papers and insight into how investigations were carried out and interpreted, including critiques of the authors' own conclusions, at a glance.

To provide this service, the SMC have brought together a group of volunteer statisticians who are members of the Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry (PSI) or the Royal Statistical Society (RSS).

Individual members of the group are asked to review a paper within the embargo time of a press release, often within 24 hours. Journalists receive a clear summary of what the paper in question claims and a concise assessment of its strengths and limitations. SMC envisage that the group will review one study per week, depending on the availability of new epidemiological studies.

The group is already having some success, with positive responses from science journalists on the impact the review made, and at one occasion also resulting in a press release being re-written to ensure it reflected the results of a study more accurately.


References

1.
Science Media Center. Publications. Available from: http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/pages/press_releases/before_the_headlines.htm External link