The research was designed to highlight the role biases play in the prejudgment of research on a global scale, and to provide recommendations on how to create a more equitable playing field in the diffusion of knowledge, both at the level of peer review for academic journals and for research consumption at the individual level.
This research helps to illustrate that we all have biases based on our different backgrounds. These biases are neither good nor bad, but we need to be aware of them when we review and consume research. This is particularly important in STEM subjects and the sciences, which are founded on the principles of objectivity and merit. Understanding and accepting that biases affect us all can make us better scientists and researchers.
A systematic review was conducted. Based on the research question, a number of different search terms were used to systematically search several databases. The results were screened to exclude articles which did not fit the criteria (randomised or controlled studies). The abstracts of the remaining articles were read to further narrow down the articles. After reading the remaining articles in full, three were chosen. Narrative synthesis was used: different outcomes were described and compared. Limitations included the fact that the databases searched were predominantly medical databases, and only published articles written in English were examined.
Ramya Zwaal prepared this research following an interview with Mark Skopec.