Quick Thoughts

Should authors declare a conflict of interest because they suffer from the illness they are writing about?

Some researchers issued a novel demand for correction of an undeclared conflict of interest stemming from the author of a criticism of their work being persons who suffered from the illness targeted by their intervention.

My peer review of a PACE investigators’ article that the authors refused to heed

OK, Michael Sharpe, I get it that 400 peer reviewed publications don't qualify me as a reviewer of your paper, I am just not seasoned enough. but could you show me what you look for in a reviewer worthy of evaluating your manuscript?

Could I critically evaluate the published results of the PACE trial without the raw data?

The small amount of data from a clinical trial that was released and reanalyzed suggests that all the data from the trial should be publicly available.

Probing an untrustworthy Cochrane review of exercise for “chronic fatigue syndrome”

Updated April 24, 2016, 9:21 AM US Eastern daylight time: An earlier version of this post had mashed together discussion of the end-of-treatment analyses with the follow-up analyses. That has now been fixed. The implications are even more serious for the credibility of this Cochrane review. From my work in progress My ongoing investigation so […]

My response to an invitation to improve the Cochrane Collaboration by challenging its policies

I interpret a recent Cochrane Community Blog post as inviting me to continue criticizing the Collaboration’s conflict of interest in the evaluation of “chronic fatigue syndrome” with the intent of initiating further reflection on its practices and change. Cochrane needs to Clean up conflicts of interest in its systematic reviews. Issue a Statement of Concern […]

In the standoff over release of the PACE PLOS One trial data, has the journal just blinked?

I just received (April 7, 2016) another communication from the Managing Editor of PLOS One reporting  an emerging position on my gaining access to the PACE trial data, promised to be available as a condition for publishing in PLOS One. The negotiations are not over. But is there a signal that PLOS One is prepared […]

‘We don’t share data.’ Why Peter White’s Wall Street Journal letter can be ignored

  A few posts back, I discussed how the push for sharing of data from the PACE for chronic fatigue syndrome trial got a boost from an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) by Amy Dockser Marcus. Queens University of London would not make the PACE investigators available to the journalist for comment. I’m […]

UK government: Risk of reputational damage to investigators not an excuse for withholding data

The title is my interpretation of the implications of some announcements now appearing in British media. There are more forthcoming, but here is a place to start: Press Gazette: Success for hands-off FoI campaign as government promises to leave the act alone BBC News: Freedom of Information charges ruled out after review BBC News: FOI […]

As major medical journals balk, BMJ moves forward with routine data sharing.

Repeated signals that The BMJ is moving forward while editors of other key medical journals try to undermine data sharing. Institutions are stiffening their resistance to release of the promised PACE trial data from the PLOS One article. This threatens to splinter the movement for routine data sharing. But The BMJ continues to support for […]

Further insights into war against data sharing: Science Media Centre’s letter writing campaign to UK Parliament

My requesting the PACE trial data is much simpler than it is being portrayed. The PACE investigators promised the data would be available upon request as a condition for publishing in PLOS One. No one forced Peter White and colleagues to publish in an open access journal committed to data sharing, but by doing so […]

Undisclosed conflicts of interest in a systematic review protocol of interventions for medically unexplained symptoms

A protocol for a systematic review of the treatment of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) that is posted and downloadable at York University’s PROSPERO site has blatant but undeclared conflicts of interest.