Dr David Tuller: BMJ Amends Last Week's PACE Article

Countrygirl

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http://www.virology.ws/2019/02/12/t...2WJxc0rmLgKSM54VQo97KSVTNJceLPl1ddM-r0PHbQKbA

Trial By Error: BMJ Amends Last Week’s PACE Article
12 FEBRUARY 2019
By David Tuller, DrPH

Last Wednesday, the UK Health Research Authority released a letter reviewing its analysis of the PACE trial. Members and supporters of the GET/CBT ideological brigades have misrepresented the HRA letter as a vindication of the study. On Thursday, BMJ posted an article about the HRA letter by science journalist Nigel Hawkes.

The BMJ article quoted from a Virology Blog post. After my byline on that post, I had included as always the initials for my public health doctoral degree–DrPH. Yet BMJ identified me as “a US activist” without mentioning my academic credentials and my position at one of the world’s leading research universities.

The pro-PACE experts quoted in the BMJ article were appropriately recognized for their professional roles at prestigious British institutions. The article also attributed opposition to the trial solely to “activists,” as if no epidemiologists, biostatisticians, infectious disease experts, physicians and specialists from other relevant disciplines have lambasted PACE for its unacceptable methodological lapses.
The day the article appeared, I sent an e-mail to Dr Fiona Godlee, editorial director of BMJ, alerting her to the problem with how I was identified and requesting a prompt fix. (See end for the text of this message; I posted it last week on Facebook.) I know I was not the only one to express concerns.

On Monday morning I received a response from Dr Godlee.
 

Countrygirl

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David has just added this to the blog above:


I have added these paragraphs to yesterday's post about the BMJ article on the Health Research Authority analysis of PACE:

I realized today that I wanted to add a couple of details. The new version of the BMJ article about the Health Research Authority analysis of PACE includes this sentence at the bottom: <em>"Correction notice: On 8 February 2019 a new version of this article was posted with clarifications added.
For unexplained reasons, no further details are provided about what was corrected or clarified. Readers would therefore not know that the initial description of my role omitted my academic credentials altogether and referred to me solely as "a US activist." Nor would they know that the BMJ article originally referenced only "activists" as being opposed to PACE--and that it did not cite Virology Blog's open letter to The Lancet, which was signed by more than 100 academics and other experts and slammed the study's "unacceptable methodological lapses."

I empathize with BMJ's position. For a leading medical journal to have disseminated this kind of misleading information is embarrassing, and rightly so. But omitting details of corrections and/or clarifications is not the most transparent way to correct or clarify the published record. Just saying.