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bias in research

Bias in research

Good research is about evidence-based decision making

Good research has always been about evidence. Reliable evidence. The Bias in Research node aims to ensure that research, and related policy decisions, rest on strong and unbiased pillars of evidence.

Our mission is to ensure that policy decisions rest on strong and unbiased pillars of evidence. The Charles Perkins Centre is the perfect place to collaborate with content area experts in order to achieve this vision.

With the growing threat of complex conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease – considered complex because they’re the result of a mix of biological, social, cultural and other factors – producing unbiased evidence and promoting evidence-based decision making is as important today as it’s ever been.

Methodologists can’t work in isolation to tackle these complex issues.

We use quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the cultural, social, corporate, political and other influences on the design, conduct and publication of research.

Participating researchers are also involved in designing and testing rigorous interventions to:

  • reduce bias in research
  • promote research integrity
  • improve the uptake of research in the policy process.

Part of the Evidence, Influence and Policy Collaborative (EPIC) Research Group, the Bias node has more than 30 local and international members.

Our research is already having an impact.

  • We have exposed bias and conflicts of interest in health-related research, including in the areas of pharmaceutical, environmental, nutrition, and tobacco control.
  • We have also worked with diverse communities, including journalists, lawyers, judges, and consumers, to increase their skills in evaluating bias in research.
  • Our work is being used to make the new gold standards for synthesizing evidence for a wide variety of health policy decisions.
  • Our research has spawned international efforts to advance methods for assessing bias and conducting systematic reviews in new areas, such as environmental risk assessment and complex public health questions.
  • Our research also forms the basis for a number of collaborative efforts among governments and researchers to develop empirically based tools for assessing bias in research. Our methodology for assessing bias also supports agencies such as the NHMRC and the World Health Organization.
  • Another important impact of our work in detecting bias has been the growing recognition that selective reporting of research outcomes, as well as of entire studies, can make it impossible to identify data for systematic reviews. This work has led to international reforms to make data more accessible, conflicts of interest and funding more transparent, and to calls for stricter standards and policies for managing conflicts of interest, critiquing and reporting evidence, and conducting systematic reviews.
  • Professor Lisa Bero, Pharmacy, University of Sydney [Project lead]
  • Dr Manos Stamatakis, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Dr Anna Stoklosa, NHMRC Clinical Trials Research Center
  • Professor Nicholas Buckley, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Professor Paul Griffiths, Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Teresa Davis, Business, University of Sydney
  • Professor Adrian Bauman, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Professor Nicolas Rasmussen, Humanities and Languages, UNSW
  • Associate Professor Barbara Mintzes, Pharmacology and Public Health, University of British Colombia
  • Dr Daniele Mandrioli, Toxicology, John Hopkins University
  • Professor Joel Lexchin, Health Policy and Management, York University
  • Associate Professor Sallie Pearson, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Professor Louise Baur, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Professor Merrilyn Walton, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Professor Mark Lawrence, Health, Deakin University
  • Dr Gyorgy Scrinis, Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Joanna Diong, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Dr Wendy Lipworth, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Dr Jon Jureidini, University of Adelaide
  • Dr Tracey Laba, The George Institute
  • Professor David Raubenheimer, Leonard P Ullmann Chair in Nutritional Ecology
  • Dr Kieron Rooney, Health Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Angela Webster, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Professor Margaret Allman-Farnelli, Science, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Lisa Askie, Medicine, University of Sydney
  • Dr Quinn Grundy, Pharmacy, University of Sydney
  • Professor Tim Gill, Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders
  • Dr Anne Springer, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan
  • Dr Jonathan Penm, Pharmacy, University of Sydney
  • Gabriel Axel Montes, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle

Project lead

Professor Lisa Bero
Professor Lisa Bero
"My collaborations have increased tremendously in areas such as philosophy, nutrition, complex systems, physical activity and biology."

Visit Professor Bero's profile