Narrative Review of Statistical Reporting Checklists, Mandatory Statistical Editing, and Rectifying Common Problems in the Reporting of Scientific Articles

Anesthesia and Analgesia
Franklin Dexter, Steven L Shafer


Considerable attention has been drawn to poor reproducibility in the biomedical literature. One explanation is inadequate reporting of statistical methods by authors and inadequate assessment of statistical reporting and methods during peer review. In this narrative review, we examine scientific studies of several well-publicized efforts to improve statistical reporting. We also review several retrospective assessments of the impact of these efforts. These studies show that instructions to authors and statistical checklists are not sufficient; no findings suggested that either improves the quality of statistical methods and reporting. Second, even basic statistics, such as power analyses, are frequently missing or incorrectly performed. Third, statistical review is needed for all papers that involve data analysis. A consistent finding in the studies was that nonstatistical reviewers (eg, "scientific reviewers") and journal editors generally poorly assess statistical quality. We finish by discussing our experience with statistical review at Anesthesia & Analgesia from 2006 to 2016.


Sep 10, 2004·Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers : a Journal of the Psychonomic Society, Inc·Sue FinchOlivia Goodman
Nov 27, 2007·Bulletin of the World Health Organization·Erik von ElmUNKNOWN STROBE Initiative
Jan 20, 2009·Nursing Outlook·Susan J Henly, Molly C Dougherty
May 19, 2010·Archives of Dermatology·Sinéad LanganUNKNOWN European Dermato-Epidemiology Network (EDEN)
Mar 10, 2011·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Johannes Ledolter, Franklin Dexter
Jan 10, 2014·Obstetrics and Gynecology·Roy M PitkinLeon F Burmeister
Nov 7, 2014·Acta Odontologica Scandinavica·Hannu VähänikkiläPentti Nieminen
Sep 4, 2015·Journal of Clinical Epidemiology·Koen B PouwelsEelko Hak
Dec 19, 2015·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Franklin DexterBradley J Hindman
Jan 23, 2016·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Maxime Cannesson, Steven L Shafer
Apr 23, 2016·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Steven L Shafer
Apr 23, 2016·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Laurent G GlanceAndrew W Dick
Apr 23, 2016·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Laurent G Glance, Andrew W Dick
May 18, 2016·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Thomas R VetterJean-Francois Pittet

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Feb 17, 2017·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Edward J Mascha, Thomas R Vetter
Dec 19, 2017·Anesthesia and Analgesia·Thomas R Vetter, Jean-François Pittet
Jan 11, 2018·The Clinical Journal of Pain·Christian DualéBruno Pereira
Jun 8, 2017·Journal of Patient Safety·Jeffrey R DanielsSorin J Brull
Mar 21, 2018·Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia = Journal Canadien D'anesthésie·Emine Ozgur Bayman, Franklin Dexter

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