Calls to improve research data

Vigorous standards should be drawn up to improve research that compares the relative benefits of different treatments, a group of medical journal editors has warned.

Editors from nine journals, including The Cochrane Library and PLoS Medicine, said comparative effectiveness research had a 'self-evident' benefit to healthcare by improving decision-making.

In an editorial published in PLoS Medicine, the authors said journals must step up to ensure studies were useful and accurate.

The editors outlined an 11-point plan to improve standards for comparative research. This included recommendations for a 'frank' discussion of a study's limitations by its authors, to make all comparative effectiveness studies free to access and to use a study population representative of clinical practice.

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