Published patterns of spin in biomedical literature: a protocol for a meta-research study

Naichuan Su, Michiel van der Linden, Geert JMG van der Heijden, Stefan Listl, Stefan Schandelmaier, Clovis M Faggion Jr
2021 BMJ Open  
IntroductionSpin is defined as reporting practices that distort the interpretation of results and create misleading conclusions by suggesting more favourable results. Such unjustifiable and misleading misrepresentation may negatively influence the development of further studies, clinical practice and healthcare policies. Spin manifests in various patterns in different sections of publications (titles, abstracts and main texts). The primary aim of this study is to identify reported spin patterns
more » ... and assess the prevalence of spin in general, and the prevalence of spin patterns reported in biomedical literature based on previously published systematic reviews and literature reviews on spin.Methods and analysisPubMed, EMBASE and SCOPUS will be searched to identify systematic or literature reviews on spin in biomedicine. To improve the comprehensiveness of the search, the snowballing method will be used to broaden the search. The data on spin-related outcomes and characteristics of the included studies will be extracted. The methodological quality of the included studies will be assessed with selective items of the A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews-2 checklist. A new classification scheme for spin patterns will be developed if the classifications of spin patterns identified in the included studies vary. The prevalence of spin and spin patterns will be pooled based on meta-analyses if the classification schemes for spin are comparable across included studies. Otherwise, the prevalence will be described qualitatively. The seriousness of spin patterns will be assessed based on a Delphi consensus study.Ethics and disseminationThis study has been approved by the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam Ethics Review Committee (2020250). The study will be submitted to a peer-reviewed scientific journal.RegistrationOpen Science Framework:
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043784 fatcat:zqnugg52efa3dgjo5tlhrs52qq