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June 24, 1998

Time Lag Bias in Publishing Clinical Trials

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(24):1952-1953. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-24-jac80011

To the Editor.— The recent study by Dr Ioannidis1 raises issues of importance to everyone involved in systematic reviews or meta-analyses. Although the study is restricted to one area of health care, there is no reason to believe that it will be any different in other areas in which trials with significant results have been shown to be more likely to stop early and to get published than trials with nonsignificant results. For example, Stern and Simes2 recently demonstrated a similar finding for medical research studies in Sydney, Australia.

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