Transparent and Reproducible Research Practices in the Surgical Literature
Journal of Surgical Research
Introduction: Previous studies have established a baseline of minimal reproducibility in the social science and biomedical literature. Clinical research is especially deficient in factors of reproducibility. Surgical journals contain fewer clinical trials than non-surgical areas of medicine, suggesting that it should be easier to reproduce the outcomes of surgical literature.
Methods: In this study, we evaluated a broad range of indicators related to transparency and reproducibility in a random sample of 387 articles published in Surgery journals between 2014 and 2018.
Results: A small minority of our sample made available their materials (5.3%, 95% C.I. 2.4%-8.2%), protocols (1.2%, 0-2.5%), data (2.5%, 0.7%-4.2%), or analysis scripts (0.04%). Four studies were adequately pre-registered. No studies were explicit replications of previous literature. Most studies (58%), declined to provide a funding statement, while conflicts of interest were declared in a small fraction (9.3%). Most have not been cited by systematic reviews (83%) or meta-analyses (87%), and most were only accessible to paying subscribers (59%).
Conclusions: The transparency of the surgical literature could improve with adherence to baseline standards of reproducibility.
Clinical trials, General surgery, Reproducibility, Transparency
Hughes BT, Niemann A, Tritz D, Boyer K, Robbins H. Transparent and Reproducible Research Practices in the Surgical Literature. Journal of Surgical Research. 2022; 274. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2021.09.024.