Raising the bar

Science  04 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6192, pp. 9
DOI: 10.1126/science.1257891

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Numbers. Lots and lots of numbers. It is hard to find a paper published in Science or any other journal that is not full of numbers. Interpretation of those numbers provides the basis for the conclusions, as well as an assessment of the confidence in those conclusions. But unfortunately, there have been far too many cases where the quantitative analysis of those numbers has been flawed, causing doubt about the authors' interpretation and uncertainty about the result. Furthermore, it is not realistic to expect that a technical reviewer, chosen for her or his expertise in the topical subject matter or experimental protocol, will also be an expert in data analysis. For that reason, with much help from the American Statistical Association, Science has established, effective 1 July 2014, a Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors (SBoRE), consisting of experts in various aspects of statistics and data analysis, to provide better oversight of the interpretation of observational data.