Publication of Positive Studies in the Urologic Literature


      To assessed rates of positive publications within the urologic literature, comparing the years 2012 and 2017.


      All studies published in Journal of Urology, Neurourology and Urodynamics, Urologic Oncology, Journal of Endourology, and Urology in 2012 and 2017 were reviewed. The primary study outcome was proportion of positive studies. Additional article characteristics, including associated citations and subspecialty focus, were recorded and statistical analyses used to assess for differences in negative publication rates based on these variables.


      A total of 1,796 articles meeting inclusion criteria were analyzed (2012, 959; 2017, 837). The overall proportion of positive studies decreased in comparison of 2012 and 2017. (90%-86%, P =.01). A statistically significant decrease was seen in 2 of 5 journals: Neurourology and Urodynamics (97%-87%, P = .01) and Journal of Endourology (93%-83%, P <.01). There were no significant differences in associated citations for positive vs negative studies in either year. Logistic regression focused on year and journal revealed that studies published in 2017 and Urology were more likely to be negative.


      The vast majority of studies within the urologic literature are positive, with only a small increase in negative study publication comparing 2012 vs 2017. Continued efforts are needed to identify publication bias and promote dissemination of negative research findings.
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