The HPV vaccine and Cochrane sagas are rolling on - and I wrote about the responsibilities of the journal that published the error-ridden critique of the Cochrane review on the HPV vaccine:

Free Speech and Journals' Responsibilities in Vaccine Debates

Unusually, the journal - BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine - proposed some corrections and invited feedback. My response: 

Correcting the Record On That Critique of the Cochrane HPV Vaccine Review

At the end of the month, I had the privilege of giving the opening keynote at the terrific National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) conference. Here are my slides, and here's my post on the conference:

"High Value, Low Wastage Research" Is More Than Just a Catchphrase Now






Last month was all about the controversy over the Cochrane HPV vaccine review. This review, it turned out to have an unexpected back story - causing turmoil at the Cochrane Collaboration.Two more posts at Absolutely Maybe:

Boilover: The Cochrane HPV Vaccine Fire isn't Really About Evidence - but it's Critical to Science

Scientific Advocacy and Biases of the Ideological and Industry Kinds

And I kept tracking developments here at this website.




First post for the month was at Absolutely Maybe, about a major development open access: Europe Expanded the "No Elsevier Deal" Zone & This Could Change Everything.

Then the month was all about trials and systematic reviews of trials.

First up, a new post after a long hiatus at Statistically Funny: Clinical Trials - More Blinding, Less Worry! It's a big topic - and there are so many different ways that bias could creep through the cracks here, that it's worth re-visiting the basics.

With that post, I now had enough background to tackle Clinical Trial Critique 101 at Absolutely Maybe. A recent trial on yoga and depression was a good example to work with there.

Then August was all about the HPV vaccine. A scathing critique of the Cochrane Collaboration's systematic review and meta-analysis got a lot of attention. It shocked me until I dug deeper and discovered how implausible - and sometimes just plain wrong - this critique was. More at Absolutely Maybe - The HPV Vaccine: A Critique of a Critique of a Meta-Analysis.

The conversation after that post made me realize that there were lots of misconceptions about when we would be able to know if the cervical cancer was dropping - and that I didn't really know how the results from the trials would pan out in real life. The result was growing excitement about what this vaccine might be achieving, and a second post - The HPV Vaccine Should be Preventing Cervical Cancer: How Can We Tell Whether It Actually Is?

As this is a continuing saga, I started a post to keep the threads of what happens next together:

The HPV Vaccine & Manufactured Controversy: Tracking the Critique of the Cochrane Review & the Evidence.




First up for May at Absolutely Maybe - An Author Rights Perspective on Scientific Editors. My top 6 core rights for which editors have responsibility. Starting with the right to not have your manuscript made worse!

More for authors next: a quick checklist for Building a Great Scientific Abstract. It's the most-read part of an article - it should never be a rushed afterthought, be misleading, or spin results.

I was delighted to participate in the wonderful bi-annual Research Reproducibility Conference held by the Eccles Library at the University of Utah in June. As well as talking at the pre-conference reproducibility workshop, I participated in a panel on calling out non-reproducible science, with Ivan Oransky from Retraction Watch, and Ed Dudek from the University of Utah, moderated by Scott Aberegg. (It's on YouTube - our panel starts at 5 hours 54 minutes.)

The most influential trial of the Mediterranean diet was retracted, then republished - with a toned-down conclusion. My take: What Does the PREDIMED Trial Retraction & Reboot Mean for the Mediterranean Diet? And more, in an invited opinion at BMJ: A Mediterranean diet trial's retraction and republication leaves a trail of questions.

And a post at Absolutely Maybe: Can We Science Our Way Out of the Reproducibility Crisis?





All That Meta-Analysis Backlash! In which I disagree with another spate of articles dissing systematic reviews and meta-analyses as a research type.

And my less-than-hellishly-complicated tips for weeding out lower quality ones - Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses: A 5-Step Checkup.




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