Salami publishing: why we need to talk about it

Ding (Melody) Ding, Adrian Bauman, Esther van Sluijs and Klaus Gebel

Have you ever had this experience? You’re looking into the literature on the association between an exposure (such as accelerometer-measured physical activity) and an outcome (such as all-cause mortality) and, you find six papers, not one, written by the same authors based on the same sample. “Are these the same paper?”, you wonder. On careful perusal of the titles and abstracts, you realise that these are different papers on similar and related research questions, only with minor differences: one looks at the association in men, another in women, a third one in older adults, a fourth in a subsample with a pre-existing condition …

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