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I was disappointed that the reviewers and editors who handled this interesting paper have not been able to prevent its abstract from reporting the associations as "significant relations (P<0.05)" given the extensive work showing the drawbacks of reporting statistical uncertainty using p-values and binary cut-off values (e.g. at 0.05) in particular.
In addition, the translation of an odds ratio of 5.8 into "A manuscript published in an ICMJE member journal was 5.8 times more likely to include the TRN" is incorrect. It would have been correct, had the authors calculated risk ratios ("relative risks").
To see this, multiply a percentage greater than 17.24 (100/5.8) by 5.8. It results in a percentage over 100, which is impossible if 100% is the maximum value (all manuscripts include the TRN). Since the authors state that "71.2% (7473/10500) reported the TRN", the maximum factor (risk ratio) by which that percentage can be multiplied is 1.408 in order to stay within the theoretical ceiling of full compliance (100%).
1. Goodman S. A dirty dozen: twelve p-value misconceptions. Semin Hematol. 2008;45:135-40.
2. Zhang J, Yu KF. What's the relative risk? A method of correcting the odds ratio in cohort studies of common outcomes. JAMA. 1998;280:1690-1.
No competing interests
27 April 2020
Gerben ter Riet
senior scientific adviser
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health, Urban Vitality Centre of Excellence, Tafelbergweg 51, 1105 BD Amsterdam, The Netherlands