PLOS interview with John Ioannidis

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Erica Kritsberg, "From One to One Million Article Views: Q&A with Author John Ioannidis", PLOS Bogs 6/23/2014:

"Why Most Published Research Findings Are False", the PLOS Medicine article by John Ioannidis, surpassed one million views late April 2014, the first PLOS article – research or other – to reach this milestone.


What is the most surprising or unexpected result/outcome of this paper?

JI: Possibly the most unexpected corollary is that more popular research fields are less credible. Several people have misunderstood this statement. This corollary holds when scientists work in silos, and each one is trying to outpace the others, finding significance in his/her own results without sharing and combining information.

The opposite holds true when scientists join forces to examine the cumulative evidence. Sadly, in most fields the siloed investigator writing grants where he promises that he/she alone will discover something worthy of the Nobel Prize is still the dominant paradigm. This sort of principal investigator culture is a problem, especially for popular fields where the literature is flooded with tens of thousands of irreproducible papers.

The problem that I wrestle with is whether the merely wrong findings are worse than the ones that don't rise to that level.


1 Comment

  1. SCF said,

    June 24, 2014 @ 10:27 pm

    sorry Mark could you clarify what you mean by "the ones that don't rise to that level?"

    {(myl) It's an allusion to this famous quotation.]

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