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Why we need to report more than ’Data were Analyzed by t-tests or ANOVA’

In this article,Weissgerber et al. present findings suggesting that scientific publications are often lacking sufficient information about the statistical methods used, which are required by independent scientists to successfully replicate the published results.

The authors evaluated the quality of reporting of statistical tests (such as t-tests and ANOVA) in 328 research papers published in physiology journals in June 2017. They found that 84,5% papers used either ANOVA or t-tests or both. Although there are different types of ANOVA, 95% of articles that used ANOVA did not indicate what type of ANOVA was performed. Likewise, many papers did not specify what type of t-test was used. As a consequence, the lackof transparent statistical reporting does not allow others to judge whether the most appropriate test was selected and to verify the obtained study results. The authors conclude that “the findings of the present study highlight the need for investigators, journal editors and reviewers to work together to improve the quality of statistical reporting in submitted manuscripts”.

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