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An investigation of the false discovery rate and the misinterpretation of p-values

Overview of attention for article published in Royal Society Open Science, November 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#1 of 1,080)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (80th percentile)

Readers on

mendeley
309 Mendeley
citeulike
412 CiteULike
connotea
23 Connotea
Title
An investigation of the false discovery rate and the misinterpretation of p-values
Published in
Royal Society Open Science, November 2014
DOI 10.1098/rsos.140216
Pubmed ID
Authors

David Colquhoun, Colquhoun, David, Colquhoun D

Abstract

If you use p=0.05 to suggest that you have made a discovery, you will be wrong at least 30% of the time. If, as is often the case, experiments are underpowered, you will be wrong most of the time. This conclusion is demonstrated from several points of view. First, tree diagrams which show the close analogy with the screening test problem. Similar conclusions are drawn by repeated simulations of t-tests. These mimic what is done in real life, which makes the results more persuasive. The simulation method is used also to evaluate the extent to which effect sizes are over-estimated, especially in underpowered experiments. A script is supplied to allow the reader to do simulations themselves, with numbers appropriate for their own work. It is concluded that if you wish to keep your false discovery rate below 5%, you need to use a three-sigma rule, or to insist on p≤0.001. And never use the word 'significant'.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 1,700 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 309 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 22 7%
United States 18 6%
Germany 7 2%
France 4 1%
Brazil 3 <1%
Switzerland 3 <1%
Belgium 2 <1%
Netherlands 2 <1%
Canada 2 <1%
Other 14 5%
Unknown 232 75%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 89 29%
Student > Ph. D. Student 71 23%
Student > Master 33 11%
Other 30 10%
Student > Bachelor 20 6%
Other 66 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 100 32%
Medicine and Dentistry 35 11%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 21 7%
Computer Science 20 6%
Psychology 20 6%
Other 113 37%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1557. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 November 2017.
All research outputs
#692
of 8,659,099 outputs
Outputs from Royal Society Open Science
#1
of 1,080 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#23
of 234,680 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Royal Society Open Science
#1
of 5 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,659,099 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,080 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 50.1. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 234,680 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 5 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them