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      A call for transparent reporting to optimize the predictive value of preclinical research.

      Nature

      Statistics as Topic, Sample Size, standards, Research Design, Random Allocation, trends, Publishing, Animals

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          Abstract

          The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke convened major stakeholders in June 2012 to discuss how to improve the methodological reporting of animal studies in grant applications and publications. The main workshop recommendation is that at a minimum studies should report on sample-size estimation, whether and how animals were randomized, whether investigators were blind to the treatment, and the handling of data. We recognize that achieving a meaningful improvement in the quality of reporting will require a concerted effort by investigators, reviewers, funding agencies and journal editors. Requiring better reporting of animal studies will raise awareness of the importance of rigorous study design to accelerate scientific progress.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Effect size, confidence interval and statistical significance: a practical guide for biologists.

          Null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) is the dominant statistical approach in biology, although it has many, frequently unappreciated, problems. Most importantly, NHST does not provide us with two crucial pieces of information: (1) the magnitude of an effect of interest, and (2) the precision of the estimate of the magnitude of that effect. All biologists should be ultimately interested in biological importance, which may be assessed using the magnitude of an effect, but not its statistical significance. Therefore, we advocate presentation of measures of the magnitude of effects (i.e. effect size statistics) and their confidence intervals (CIs) in all biological journals. Combined use of an effect size and its CIs enables one to assess the relationships within data more effectively than the use of p values, regardless of statistical significance. In addition, routine presentation of effect sizes will encourage researchers to view their results in the context of previous research and facilitate the incorporation of results into future meta-analysis, which has been increasingly used as the standard method of quantitative review in biology. In this article, we extensively discuss two dimensionless (and thus standardised) classes of effect size statistics: d statistics (standardised mean difference) and r statistics (correlation coefficient), because these can be calculated from almost all study designs and also because their calculations are essential for meta-analysis. However, our focus on these standardised effect size statistics does not mean unstandardised effect size statistics (e.g. mean difference and regression coefficient) are less important. We provide potential solutions for four main technical problems researchers may encounter when calculating effect size and CIs: (1) when covariates exist, (2) when bias in estimating effect size is possible, (3) when data have non-normal error structure and/or variances, and (4) when data are non-independent. Although interpretations of effect sizes are often difficult, we provide some pointers to help researchers. This paper serves both as a beginner's instruction manual and a stimulus for changing statistical practice for the better in the biological sciences.
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            Systematic reviews in health care: Assessing the quality of controlled clinical trials.

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              Bayesian Versus Orthodox Statistics: Which Side Are You On?

               Zoltan Dienes (2011)
              Researchers are often confused about what can be inferred from significance tests. One problem occurs when people apply Bayesian intuitions to significance testing-two approaches that must be firmly separated. This article presents some common situations in which the approaches come to different conclusions; you can see where your intuitions initially lie. The situations include multiple testing, deciding when to stop running participants, and when a theory was thought of relative to finding out results. The interpretation of nonsignificant results has also been persistently problematic in a way that Bayesian inference can clarify. The Bayesian and orthodox approaches are placed in the context of different notions of rationality, and I accuse myself and others as having been irrational in the way we have been using statistics on a key notion of rationality. The reader is shown how to apply Bayesian inference in practice, using free online software, to allow more coherent inferences from data.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10.1038/nature11556
                3511845
                23060188

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