Limits...
Evolution and translation of research findings: from bench to where?

Ioannidis JP - PLoS Clin Trials (2006)

Bottom Line: Given that we currently have too many research findings, often with low credibility, replication and rigorous evaluation become as important as or even more important than discovery.Credibility, replication, and translation are all desirable properties of research findings, but are only modestly correlated.In this essay, I discuss some of the evidence (or lack thereof) for the process of evolution and translation of research findings, with emphasis on the biomedical sciences.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece. jioannid@cc.uoi.gr

ABSTRACT
The credibility and replication of research findings evolve over time, as data accumulate. However, translation of postulated research promises to real-life biomedical applications is uncommon. In some fields of research, we may observe diminishing effects for the strength of research findings and rapid alternations of exaggerated claims and extreme contradictions--the "Proteus Phenomenon." While these phenomena are probably more prominent in the basic sciences, similar manifestations have been documented even in clinical trials and they may undermine the credibility of clinical research. Significance-chasing bias may be in part responsible, but the greatest threat may come from the poor relevance and scientific rationale and thus low pre-study odds of success of research efforts. Given that we currently have too many research findings, often with low credibility, replication and rigorous evaluation become as important as or even more important than discovery. Credibility, replication, and translation are all desirable properties of research findings, but are only modestly correlated. In this essay, I discuss some of the evidence (or lack thereof) for the process of evolution and translation of research findings, with emphasis on the biomedical sciences.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Three Waves of Evidence Microcosms in Genetics
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1851723&req=5

pctr-0010036-g001: Three Waves of Evidence Microcosms in Genetics

Mentions: The search for genetic determinants of disease has been a fascinating field and it has witnessed shifts of attention in the last three decades: from human leukocyte antigens, to linkage studies with “whole genome” scans and testing of polymorphisms. Each wave has claimed thousands of relationships between genetic variation and human diseases. Some are confirmed, many are refuted, and probably even more are left behind in the literature, as new waves are created. These waves of evidence reflect wider waves of research in the life sciences. Figure 1 shows the results of simple PubMed searches for “HLA,” “linkage,” and “polymorphism.” All three show dynamic rises over time. However, one should also account for the general increase in the number of articles, in particular in the biological disciplines. The lower panel standardizes the number of PubMed items against the number of PubMed items for the term “biology” in the same time periods. The three waves peak in the mid-1980s, mid-1980s/mid-1990s, and mid-to-late 1990s, respectively, and decline thereafter, even if the total number of items continues to be high.


Evolution and translation of research findings: from bench to where?

Ioannidis JP - PLoS Clin Trials (2006)

Three Waves of Evidence Microcosms in Genetics
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1851723&req=5

pctr-0010036-g001: Three Waves of Evidence Microcosms in Genetics
Mentions: The search for genetic determinants of disease has been a fascinating field and it has witnessed shifts of attention in the last three decades: from human leukocyte antigens, to linkage studies with “whole genome” scans and testing of polymorphisms. Each wave has claimed thousands of relationships between genetic variation and human diseases. Some are confirmed, many are refuted, and probably even more are left behind in the literature, as new waves are created. These waves of evidence reflect wider waves of research in the life sciences. Figure 1 shows the results of simple PubMed searches for “HLA,” “linkage,” and “polymorphism.” All three show dynamic rises over time. However, one should also account for the general increase in the number of articles, in particular in the biological disciplines. The lower panel standardizes the number of PubMed items against the number of PubMed items for the term “biology” in the same time periods. The three waves peak in the mid-1980s, mid-1980s/mid-1990s, and mid-to-late 1990s, respectively, and decline thereafter, even if the total number of items continues to be high.

Bottom Line: Given that we currently have too many research findings, often with low credibility, replication and rigorous evaluation become as important as or even more important than discovery.Credibility, replication, and translation are all desirable properties of research findings, but are only modestly correlated.In this essay, I discuss some of the evidence (or lack thereof) for the process of evolution and translation of research findings, with emphasis on the biomedical sciences.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece. jioannid@cc.uoi.gr

ABSTRACT
The credibility and replication of research findings evolve over time, as data accumulate. However, translation of postulated research promises to real-life biomedical applications is uncommon. In some fields of research, we may observe diminishing effects for the strength of research findings and rapid alternations of exaggerated claims and extreme contradictions--the "Proteus Phenomenon." While these phenomena are probably more prominent in the basic sciences, similar manifestations have been documented even in clinical trials and they may undermine the credibility of clinical research. Significance-chasing bias may be in part responsible, but the greatest threat may come from the poor relevance and scientific rationale and thus low pre-study odds of success of research efforts. Given that we currently have too many research findings, often with low credibility, replication and rigorous evaluation become as important as or even more important than discovery. Credibility, replication, and translation are all desirable properties of research findings, but are only modestly correlated. In this essay, I discuss some of the evidence (or lack thereof) for the process of evolution and translation of research findings, with emphasis on the biomedical sciences.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus