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How to spot a statistical problem: advice for a non-statistical reviewer

An article published in BMC Medicine this week provides insights into how peer reviewers should evaluate statistics in publications.

The article aims to cover the following questions:

  • Is there sufficient detail to review the statistical methods?
  • Are there any common statistical issues?
  • Is the presentation of results appropriate?
  • Is the interpretation of results appropriate?

The authors conclude: “We have provided a number of indicators to assist the non-statistical reviewer… If reviewers lack the appropriate background to positively confirm the appropriateness of any of the manuscript’s statistical aspects, they are encouraged to recommend it for expert statistical review.”.


Peer review

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