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Home » Research Issues » Health Geek Tip: Abstracts are ads. Read full studies when you can.

Ivan Oransky, executive editor of Reuters Health, provided excellent evidence yesterday regarding the need to look past abstracts of journal articles if accuracy matters to you:

His own post on Embargo Watch: “More thoughts on ASCO: How the embargo policy can lead to hype

Gary Schwitzer‘s post on the HealthNewsReview blog: “A prime example of the problem with some TV physician-‘journalists'”

Here’s an intriguing abstract that begs for further study: “Accuracy of cancer information on the Internet: A comparison of a Wiki with a professionally maintained database.”

Gilles Frydman makes two excellent points about it:

“It would be interesting to know which 10 types of cancer. Wikipedia pages in long tail are usually pretty lacking in depth.”

“PDQ exist in 2 versions: Patient & Health Prof. Abstract doesn’t say if one or both kinds compared to Wikipedia.”

Anyone out there have access to the full study? Please post what you find.