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Outcome-Reporting Bias in Education Research
Educational Researcher
  • Terri D. Pigott, Loyola University Chicago
  • Joshua R. Polanin, Loyola University Chicago
  • Jeffery C. Valentine
  • Ryan T. Williams
  • Dericka D. Canada
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Outcome reporting bias occurs when primary studies do not include information about all outcomes measured in a study. When studies omit findings on important measures, efforts to synthesize the research using systematic review techniques will be biased and interpretations of individual studies will be incomplete. Outcome reporting bias has been well-documented in medicine, and has been shown to lead to inaccurate assessments of the effects of medical treatments and, in some cases, to omission of reports of harms. This study examines outcome reporting bias in educational research by comparing the reports of educational interventions from dissertations to their published versions. We find that non-significant outcomes were 30% more likely to be omitted from a published study than statistically significant ones.


Author Posting. © AERA, 2013. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Sage for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Educational Researcher, November 2013, vol. 42 no. 8, 424-432.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0
Citation Information
Terri D. Pigott, Joshua R. Polanin, Jeffery C. Valentine, Ryan T. Williams, et al.. "Outcome-Reporting Bias in Education Research" Educational Researcher Vol. 42 Iss. 8 (2013)
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