COVID-19 Data Scandal Prompts Elite Magazine Review Process for Science

E. Peterson /Science

By Kelly Cervick

ScienceCOVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Haising-Simmons Foundation.

A high-profile COVID-19 paper, three months after the editors withdrew the Lancet The research community hopes to reassure that they have learned their lesson. The journal commissioned a study on the risks of hydroxychloroquine – an antimalarial drug whose proposed use as a COVID-19 treatment has sparked scientific and political controversy in June – when its authors could not substantiate the underlying patient data. Yesterday, it announced policies that went into effect immediately, aiming to conduct flawed studies using “large, real-word datasets” from repetition of past iterations. They include strict standards for the expertise of peer reviewers of such papers and requirements that all authors pledge to the validity of their data and extend their data-sharing plans.

“We aim to find out whenever we can reduce risk and improve processes,” the editors wrote in an accompanying editorial that the epidemic has reviewed.

Now published in May, which is a retracted study, relies on data from Chicago-based small company SergeyFair, which collected and analyzed patient records from hundreds of hospitals around the world. But the paper’s central claim that anti-Himalayan drugs have increased the risk of death of COVID-19 patients – quickly overlooked as observers question the study’s large sample size and details about patient demographics and doses . the Lancet The paper withdrew when Sergifer refused to provide the underlying data for an independent audit. On the same day, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Retracted another study using Sergeyfer data, which found that some blood pressure medications did not increase the risk of death from COVID-19.

the LancetThe new standards are designed to plug specific perforations in the review process that result in Surgicalfare. That paper was published despite the fact that only one of the four authors, Sergean founder Sapan Desai, had access to the primary data. (Her co-authors, Mandeep Mehra, a cardiologist at Harvard University and Frank Ruschitzka of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, University Hospital Zurich, and Amit Patel, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah, announced in June that they could “no longer fast The veracity of the data “clearly broke down after the independent audit was planned.” the Lancet Now the authors will need to certify that one of them has accessed and verified the underlying data of the study – and indicate which authors have done so. In collaboration between educational laboratories and commercial companies, one of the academic authors must certify that they have seen the data.

The journal will also have to explain to the authors of all its papers in detail what data they will share, criteria for access, and how they will make them available. This mandate previously only applies to clinical trial reports, not retrospective studies such as surgical papers. (NEJM It has not published a similar statement about the change in peer review practices, but its editor pointed out new York Times That the journal should have used reviewers familiar with larger hospital data sets.)

For any study involving any patient data set, the Lancet It states that it will now ensure that at least one reviewer “can understand and comment on its strengths and limitations.” This will bring experts in both statistics and data science to studies with “very large datasets”. And it will ask critics specifically whether they have concerns about the paper’s “research integrity or publication ethics”.

The magazine is unlikely to be criticized in the wake of this change.

“It’s not enough,” Sweden-based human-computer interaction and scientific visual researcher Lonnie Besançon Tweeted in response to announcement. He said that the journal needed to ensure that the underlying data in its study could be examined — at least by an independent third party, he wrote.

Large prospective studies have now shown no benefit of hydroxychloroquine, but have not detected an increased risk of death in reports of retreatment Knife Paper. The publication of SurgicalSphere results in retaliation for reform and the journal’s efforts did not disseminate misinformation. The September 16 report of the French National Authority for Health cites Knife Among the paper’s reasons, it rescinded its recommendation for emergency use of hydroxychloroquine, without noting that the paper has been maligned.

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