A note on statistical and biological communication: a case study of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

TitleA note on statistical and biological communication: a case study of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRecoskie J, Heffernan JM, Jankowski HK
JournalBMC research notes
Volume7
Pagination939
Date Published2014
ISSN1756-0500
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Many academic fields contribute to medical and health research. As a result, due to the various backgrounds of these disciplines, inference and interpretation of study findings can be misconstrued.

RESULTS: In a recent survey of the 2009 H1N1 literature we found many instances where semantic and statistical misinterpretation or miscommunication could potentially arise. We provide examples where miscommunication or misinterpretation of study results can mislead the interdisciplinary reader. We also provide some additional background on statistical methodology and theory for the interested reader.

DISCUSSION: This work presented some examples where statistical misinterpretation or miscommunication could arise in the H1N1 literature. However, similar challenges are encountered in other subjects and disciplines. To reduce the probability of this occurring it is necessary that (1) readers consider papers with a critical eye and approach citations with caution; (2) authors take more care to present study methods with more clarity. Reproducibility of the study results would greatly aid readers in their ability to understand and interpret the given findings.

DOI10.1186/1756-0500-7-939
Alternate JournalBMC Res Notes