Thursday, October 22, 2015

Statisticians ruin the day again, this time with a retraction

Authors retract second study about medical uses of honey - Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch:

For the second time, authors of manuscripts have had to retract their papers because of serious data analysis errors. While the details of the actual errors are scant, we do know that the article was published, a company tried to replicate the results but failed, the journal editor employed a third-party statistician who found serious errors in the data analysis, and the errors were serious enough that the paper, to stay accepted, would have had to go through a major revision and further peer review.

Better to get a statistician to ruin your day before publication (and require another revision) than to have to eat crow because a third party did it. Other thoughts:

  • Did the authors have a statistician review this before submitting?
  • Did the journal have this go through a statistical peer review before accepting?
  • Come to think of it, was a statistician involved in the planning of this study?