PURPOSE
We aimed to evaluate articles in radiology journals indexed in the Science Citation Index or Science Citation Index Expanded in terms of statistical errors. By this means, we aim to contribute to
the production of high quality scientific publications.
METHODS
In this study, a total of 157 articles published in 2016–2017 in 20 radiology journals were reviewed randomly. Selected articles were evaluated for statistical errors regarding P values and
statistical tests, and for errors in terminology and other errors related to interpretation. In addition, in order to examine whether the error rates of the articles published in the radiology
journals differed according to the impact factor, the statistical errors were compared according
to the impact factors of the journals.
RESULTS
Of the 157 articles published in radiology journals, 10 had no statistical errors, while 147 had
at least one statistical error. The most frequently encountered error was “errors in summarizing
data” with a rate of 66%. This was followed by “incorrect representation of P values” with a rate
of 42%. The least frequently encountered error was “statistical symbol errors” with a rate of 3%.
There was no statistically significant difference according to impact factors.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, radiology journals, as do journals in different fields, include articles containing
statistical errors. Even when the quality of the journal increases, there is no difference in these
statistical error rates. In order to prevent statistical errors in manuscripts, there are responsibilities for both the researchers who conduct scientific studies and the editors who publish these
studies in their journals. Researchers should have a basic statistical knowledge, and the editor
must submit all manuscripts for a statistical review.
