The association between exaggeration in health-related science news and academic press releases: a replication study.
ABSTRACT: Background: Exaggerations in health news were previously found to strongly associate with similar exaggerations in press releases. Moreover, such press release exaggerations did not appear to attract more news. Methods: Here we tested the replicability of these findings in a new cohort of news and press releases based on research in UK universities in 2014 and 2015. Press releases and news were compared to their associated peer-reviewed articles to define exaggeration in advice, causal claims and human inference from non-human studies. Results: We found that the association between news and press releases did not replicate for advice exaggeration, while this association did replicate for causal claims and human inference from non-human studies. There was no evidence for higher news uptake for exaggerated press releases, consistent with previous results. Base exaggeration rates were lower for human inference from non-human studies, possibly reflecting the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK. Conclusions: Overall, the picture remains that the strength of news statements is normally associated with the strength of press release statements, and without evidence that exaggerated statements get significantly more news.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC6833989 | BioStudies |