First published online: 01 Mar 2015
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J Renal Inj Prev. 2015;4(1).
doi: 10.12861/jrip.2015.02
PMID: 25848638
PMCID: PMC4381032
  Abstract View: 1020
  PDF Download: 691

Review Article

Important statistical points to improve and promote the methodology of the articles on medical sciences, particularly nephrology and kidney; a review article

Ali Ahmadi 1, Hamid Soori 2 *

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
2 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
*Corresponding author: Hamid Soori, Department of Epidemiology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Email: hsoori@yahoo.com

Article

Background: Quality of articles’ methodology is one of the important factors which is considered by researchers. Objectives: This study was conducted to determine statistical guidelines on promotion of methodology’s quality in the articles concerning medical sciences, particularly nephrology, to assist authors and reviewers.

Materials and Methods: This study is a systematic review. Initially, the keywords "Epidemiologic Methods/analysis" [Mesh] OR "Epidemiologic Methods/epidemiology" and "reporting" were selected in Medline database. Then, reliable databases were searched for relevant publications. Being relevant, containing viewpoints, and recommending statistical guidelines as well as approval of at least two of the three examiners of articles were determined as the inclusion criteria into the study.

Results: Two hundred relevant articles were retrieved. Thirty-two articles met the inclusion criteria. By the examined articles, 30 applied points have determinative role for improving and promoting quality of articles methodology. Of the important points, introducing and describing target community and statistical population, mentioning article title, introducing independent and dependent variables as well as confounders, reporting sample size for subgroups and the whole study, summarizing the data according to their statistical distribution (reporting mean and standard deviation for data with normal distribution), reporting the type of rate (incidence, survival), ratio (odds, hazard) or risk (absolute, relative, difference) with 95% CI and the used software could be mentioned.

Conclusion: The most important factors contributing greatly to the quality of articles’ methodology on nephrology were reported in the present study. Applying these factors by articles authors and reviewers could lead to improve articles’ and journals’ quality. In addition, use of the findings of the present study in articles’ materials and methods could avoid research errors.

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:

Prevalent errors in articles on medical sciences and offering guidelines to avoid these errors are regarded as important responsibilities of experts on methodology and materials and methods. Use of these factors by authors, particularly reviewers, could lead to improving articles’ and journals’ quality.

Please cite this paper as: Ahmadi A, Soori H. Important statistical points to improve and promote the methodology of the articles on medical sciences, particularly nephrology and kidney; a review article. J Renal Inj Prev. 2015; 4(1): 4-8. DOI: 10.12861/jrip.2015.02

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