What steps can be taken to improve the quality of research?

October 15, 2018

Sharing successes and hiding failures: ‘reporting bias’ in learning and teaching research

An examination of current practices and standards in education research strongly support the need for improvement. One of the issues that requires attention is reporting bias. Reporting bias can lead to a study telling a different story from the realities it is supposed to represent. When researchers selectively publish significant positive results, and omit non-significant or negative results, the research literature is skewed. This is called ‘reporting bias’, and it can cause both practitioners and researchers to develop an inaccurate understanding of the efficacy of an intervention. Potential reporting bias are identified in this recent high-profile higher education meta-analysis. The paper examines factors that lead to bias as well offers specific recommendations to journals, funders, ethics committees, and universities designed to reduce reporting bias.

Citation:Dawson, P., & Dawson, S. L. (2018). Sharing successes and hiding failures:‘reporting bias’ in learning and teaching research. Studies in Higher Education43(8), 1405-1416.

Link: https://srhe.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03075079.2016.1258052?needAccess=true