Journal Article

Scientific rigor and credibility in the nutrition research landscape

Cynthia M Kroeger, Cutberto Garza, Christopher J Lynch, Esther Myers, Sylvia Rowe, Barbara O Schneeman, Arya M Sharma and David B Allison

in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Published on behalf of American Society for Nutrition

Volume 107, issue 3, pages 484-494
Published in print March 2018 | ISSN: 0002-9165
Published online March 2018 | e-ISSN: 1938-3207 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqx067
Scientific rigor and credibility in the nutrition research landscape

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ABSTRACT

Scientific progress depends on the quality and credibility of research methods. As discourse on rigor, transparency, and reproducibility joins the cacophony of nutrition information and misinformation in mass media, buttressing the real and perceived reliability of nutrition science is more important than ever. This broad topic was the focus of a 2016 plenary session, “Scientific Rigor and Competing Interests in the Nutrition Research Landscape.” This article summarizes and expands on this session in an effort to increase understanding and dialogue with regard to factors that limit the real and perceived reliability of nutrition science and steps that can be taken to mitigate those factors. The end goal is to both earn and merit greater trust in nutrition science by both the scientific community and the general public. The authors offer suggestions in each of the domains of education and training, communications, research conduct, and procedures and policies to help achieve this goal. The authors emphasize the need for adequate funding to support these efforts toward greater rigor and transparency, which will be resource demanding and may require either increased research funding or the recognition that a greater proportion of research funding may need to be allocated to these tasks.

Keywords: research methods; scientific rigor; nutrition; conflict of interests; transparency, trust

Journal Article.  10767 words. 

Subjects: Medicine and Health ; Dietetics and Nutrition ; Biochemistry ; Food Microbiology ; Gut Microbiology

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