Large-Scale Assessment of the Effect of Popularity on the Reliability of Research

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Large-Scale Assessment of the Effect of Popularity on the Reliability of Research

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dc.contributor.author Hoffmann, Robert
dc.contributor.author Pfeiffer, Thomas
dc.date.accessioned 2010-10-28T20:03:15Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Pfeiffer, Thomas, and Robert Hoffmann. 2009. Large-scale assessment of the effect of popularity on the reliability of research. PLoS ONE 4:e5996. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4513838
dc.description.abstract Based on theoretical reasoning it has been suggested that the reliability of findings published in the scientific literature decreases with the popularity of a research field. Here we provide empirical support for this prediction. We evaluate published statements on protein interactions with data from high-throughput experiments. We find evidence for two distinctive effects. First, with increasing popularity of the interaction partners, individual statements in the literature become more erroneous. Second, the overall evidence on an interaction becomes increasingly distorted by multiple independent testing. We therefore argue that for increasing the reliability of research it is essential to assess the negative effects of popularity and develop approaches to diminish these effects. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Engineering and Applied Sciences en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0005996 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696594/pdf/ en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.subject science policy en_US
dc.subject computational biology en_US
dc.subject literature analysis en_US
dc.subject mathematics en_US
dc.subject statistics en_US
dc.title Large-Scale Assessment of the Effect of Popularity on the Reliability of Research en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal PLoS ONE en_US
dash.depositing.author Pfeiffer, Thomas
dc.date.available 2010-10-28T20:03:15Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7218]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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