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Glossary of Terms

We know that many of the concepts used on this site can be difficult to understand. For that reason, we have provided you with a glossary to help you make sense of the terms used in Comparative Effectiveness Research. Every word that is defined in this glossary should appear highlighted throughout the Web site. When you come upon a highlighted term and would like to read the full definition, you can either click on the word to visit the glossary or roll your mouse over the word for a pop-up definition.

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Publication Bias

Definition: The tendency of researchers to publish experimental findings that have a positive result, while not publishing the findings when the results are negative or inconclusive. The effect of publication bias is that published studies may be misleading. When information that differs from that of the published study is not known, people are able to draw conclusions using only information from the published studies.

Example: For example, two research studies of a new drug are being conducted. One study finds that people with a certain disease improve while taking the drug. The second study finds that people with the same disease do not improve while taking the drug. If the first study is published but the second is not, then publication bias has occurred. If both studies are published, then publication bias has not occurred.