Caveat emptor: the combined effects of multiplicity and selective reporting.

Journal Article (Letter)

Clinical trials and systematic reviews of clinical trials inform healthcare decisions. There is growing concern, however, about results from clinical trials that cannot be reproduced. Reasons for nonreproducibility include that outcomes are defined in multiple ways, results can be obtained using multiple methods of analysis, and trial findings are reported in multiple sources ("multiplicity"). Multiplicity combined with selective reporting can influence dissemination of trial findings and decision-making. In particular, users of evidence might be misled by exposure to selected sources and overly optimistic representations of intervention effects. In this commentary, drawing from our experience in the Multiple Data Sources in Systematic Reviews (MUDS) study and evidence from previous research, we offer practical recommendations to enhance the reproducibility of clinical trials and systematic reviews.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, T; Mayo-Wilson, E; Fusco, N; Hong, H; Dickersin, K

Published Date

  • September 17, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 497 -

PubMed ID

  • 30223876

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6142307

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1745-6215

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s13063-018-2888-9


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England