Authors: Ilija Barukčić
Objective. Under certain circumstances, the results of multiple investigations – particularly, rigorously-designed trials, can be summarized by systematic reviews and meta-analyses. However, the results of properly conducted meta-analyses can but need not be stronger than single investigations, if (publication) bias is not considered to a necessary extent. Methods. In assessing the significance of publication bias due to study design simple to handle statistical measures for quantifying publication bias are developed and discussed which can be used as a characteristic of a meta-analysis. In addition, these measures may permit comparisons of publication biases between different meta-analyses. Results. Various properties and the performance of the new measures of publication bias are studied and illustrated using simulations and clearly described thought experiments. As a result, individual studies can be reviewed with a higher degree of certainty. Conclusions. Publication bias due to study design is a serious problem in scientific research, which can affect the validity and generalization of conclusions. The index of unfairness and the index of independence are of use to quantify publication bias and to improve the quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Keywords: study design, study type, measuring technique, publication bias
Comments: 24 pages. Copyright © 2019 by Ilija Barukčić, Jever, Germany. All rights reserved. Published by:
[v1] 2019-07-24 05:53:26
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