B – Publication bias in surgery journals

Pitak-Arnnop P, Sader R, Rapidis AD, et al. Publication bias in oral and maxillofacial surgery journals: an observation on published controlled trials. Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery 2010;38(1):4-10. (doi:10.1016/j.jcms.2009.10.005)

Publication bias compromises evidence-based practice. This study looked for publication bias in 53 published controlled trials in leading oral and maxillofacial surgery journals. Journals preferentially published controlled trials with a positive outcome (77%) and from high-income countries (74%). Single-centred trials with low sample size were published more frequently. Results suggest the possible existence of publication bias in the oral and maxillofocial surgery literature. Journals in this field should establish measures to eliminate publication bias. This was an observational study of published articles; an analysis of all submitted manuscripts would provide more accurate data.