Leveraging Statistical Methods to Improve Validity and Reproducibility of Research Findings

Scientific discoveries have the profound opportunity to impact the lives of patients. They can lead to advances in medical decision making when the findings are correct, or mislead when not. We owe it to our peers, funding sources, and patients to take every precaution against false conclusions, and to communicate our discoveries with accuracy, precision, and clarity. With the National Institutes of Health’s new focus on rigor and reproducibility, scientists are returning attention to the ideas of validity and reliability. At JAMA Psychiatry, we seek to publish science that leverages the power of statistics and contributes discoveries that are reproducible and valid. Toward that end, I provide guidelines for using statistical methods: the essentials, good practices, and advanced methods.