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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19153

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Bax L, Moons KG
Beyond publication bias
J Clin Epidemiol 2010 Dec 30;


In drug development, clinical
medicine, or health policy making,
basing one’s decisions on a
selective part of the available
evidence can pose a major threat to
the health of patients and the
society. If, for example, primarily
positive research reports are taken
into account, one could wrongfully
conclude that a harmful drug is
safe. The systematic error
introduced by summarizing evidence
that is not representative of the
available evidence is commonly
referred to as “publication bias.”
Some, however, prefer other terms to
refer to the same concept. In this
article, we explore the terminology
and concepts relevant to this bias
and propose a more systematic
nomenclature than what is currently


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