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Press Press

Press releases on trial

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 15 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1461
  1. Alex Vass, editorial registrar,
  2. Claire McKenna, second year medical student
  1. BMJ
  2. Queen's University, Belfast, and BMJ Clegg scholar

    As the main means of communication between medical journals and the media, press releases have a pivotal role in conveying scientific accuracy. But can they do that at the same time as making the results attractive to lay journalists?

    A study in last week's Journal of the American Medical Association (2002;287:2856-8) found that press releases from medical journals often present data using formats that exaggerate the importance of the findings and do not routinely highlight study limitations or conflicts of interest.

    The study authors, Steven Woloshin and Lisa …

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