ISPA Account

Inspiring from other sectors

Observational research often perceived as inferior
The main barrier to the publication of observational research is a perceived inferiority to randomised designs with regard to the reliability of their conclusions. This commentary addresses this issue and makes a set of recommendations. It analyses the issue of research reliability in detail and fully describes the three sources of research unreliability (certainty, risk and uncertainty). Two of these (certainty and uncertainty) are not adequately addressed in most research texts. It establishes that randomised designs are vulnerable as observation studies to these two sources of unreliability, and are therefore not automatically superior to observational research in all research situations. Read more here.