When we think of biases in research, the one that most often makes the news is a researcher’s financial conflict of interest. But another bias, one possibly even more pernicious, is how research is published and used in supporting future work.
A recent study in Psychological Medicine examined how four of these types of biases came into play in research on antidepressants. The authors created a data set containing 105 studies of antidepressants that were registered with the Food and Drug Administration. Drug companies are required to register trials before they are done, so the researchers knew they had more complete information than what might appear in the medical literature.