Scientific papers should establish higher standard for evidence, statistician says

A hand drawing a line upwards along a bar graph.

Many scientific research papers are far less accurate than they claim because a standard of evidence that researchers have been using for decades has been significantly overstated, Texas A&M University statistician Valen Johnson argues in a newly published paper.

Johnson details his results in a paper titled “Revised Standards for Statistical Evidence,” released Monday (Nov. 11) in the early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The scientific community has been finding that a number of studies haven’t been replicating,” said Johnson, a professor in the Texas A&M Department of Statistics. “If the findings don’t replicate, this notion that science is discovering truths erodes. If people are continually publishing articles that turn out not to be true, it undermines public confidence in science.”

More at Texas A&M College of Science.