Publication and other reporting biases in cognitive sciences: detection, prevalence, and prevention

Trends Cogn Sci. 2014 May;18(5):235-41. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.02.010. Epub 2014 Mar 18.


Recent systematic reviews and empirical evaluations of the cognitive sciences literature suggest that publication and other reporting biases are prevalent across diverse domains of cognitive science. In this review, we summarize the various forms of publication and reporting biases and other questionable research practices, and overview the available methods for probing into their existence. We discuss the available empirical evidence for the presence of such biases across the neuroimaging, animal, other preclinical, psychological, clinical trials, and genetics literature in the cognitive sciences. We also highlight emerging solutions (from study design to data analyses and reporting) to prevent bias and improve the fidelity in the field of cognitive science research.

Keywords: bias; cognitive sciences; neuroscience; publication bias; reporting bias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bias*
  • Cognitive Science*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders* / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Publication Bias*