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A Number Of Coronavirus Studies Are Now Being Released. How Do We Gauge Their Validity?




A healthcare worker registers people before getting tested for the coronavirus in Prague on April 23, 2020.
A healthcare worker registers people before getting tested for the coronavirus in Prague on April 23, 2020.
Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

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Research amid the global coronavirus is on the fast track as scientists and medical professionals race to better understand the contagious virus. According to the New York Times, research and the submission of studies for review is being compressed, and it’s resulting in a lot of information being released to the public. 

But experts say we should take the studies, even peer-reviewed ones, with a grain of salt. The answers aren’t so simple and many studies are later walked back. And the added haste amid the pandemic only adds to the risk of mistakes. Currently, a recently released Stanford study estimating infection rates in Santa Clara County has sparked backlash and outcry about proper methodology. The information that often turns out to be misinformation is quickly disseminated to the public. So what should we know about these studies and how should we consider their validity moving forward, especially at a time when we’re in dire need of accurate information? Also, what could current events mean for the future of scientific research and publications? Larry sits down with an expert to discuss. Do you have questions? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

Guest:

Ivan Oransky, M.D., co-creator of the blog Retraction Watch which focuses on retractions of studies in science journals, he’s also vice president of editorial at Medscape and teaches medical journalism at New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program; he tweets @ivanoransky