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Medical journals’ failure to handle errors

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Warning: This post was published more than 5 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 5 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

In any one year one in four people in the United Kingdom have their thyroid function checked.

This grammatically erroneous and factually absurd statement from a 2009 BMJ paper remains uncorrected, as highlighted by this interesting paper about journals’ error handling in JRSM. It strikes me as alarming that the Guardian appears to have a more open and robust approach to highlighting and correcting errors than our leading medical journal; but then I guess correcting mistakes in emerging research fields is a trickier issue than correcting journalistic errors.

More irritatingly – how come other people can get such obvious slips though peer review, yet peer reviewers pick up on every dodgy comma in my work?

This 1,566th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Health, Quotes.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 4th March 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th February 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 31st December 2016)

Photo-a-day 248: Mildly amusing sign (published 4th September 2012)

Results (published 23rd June 2004)

Minimum wage increased to £5.05 (published 25th February 2005)

Family’s hell at bird flu deathbed (published 27th February 2005)


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