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The reporting of statistical significance in scientific journals: A Reflexion
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (SPaDE)
2008 (English)In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 18, no 15, 437-442 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Scientific journals in most empirical disciplines have regulations about how authors should report the precision of their estimates of model parameters and other model elements. Some journals that overlap fully or partly with the field of demography demand as a strict prerequisite for publication that a p-value, a confidence interval, or a standard deviation accompany any parameter estimate. I feel that this rule is sometimes applied in an overly mechanical manner. Standard deviations and p-values produced routinely by general-purpose software are taken at face value and included without questioning, and features that have too high a p-value or too large a standard deviation are too easily disregarded as being without interest because they appear not to be statistically significant. In my opinion authors should be discouraged from adhering to this practice, and flexibility rather than rigidity should be encouraged in the reporting of statistical significance. I would also encourage thoughtful rather than mechanical use of p-values, standard deviations, confidence intervals, and the like.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 18, no 15, 437-442 p.
Keyword [en]
Statistical significance
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-72492OAI: diva2:499954
Available from: 2012-02-14 Created: 2012-02-13 Last updated: 2012-02-14Bibliographically approved

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Hoem, Jan M.
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