The Validity of the Tool “statcheck” in Discovering Statistical Reporting Inconsistencies

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Description: The R package “statcheck” (Epskamp & Nuijten, 2016) is a tool to extract statistical results from articles and check whether the reported p-value matches the accompanying test statistic and degrees of freedom. A previous study showed high interrater reliabilities (between .76 and .89) between statcheck and manual coding of inconsistencies (.76 - .89; Nuijten, Hartgerink, Van Assen, Epskamp, & Wicherts, 2016). Here we present an additional, detailed study of the validity of statcheck. In Study 1, we calculated its sensitivity and specificity. We found that statcheck’s sensitivity (true positive rate) and specificity (true negative rate) were high: between 85.3% and 100%, and between 96.0% and 100%, respectively, depending on the assumptions and settings. The overall accuracy of statcheck ranged from 96.2% to 99.9%. In Study 2, we investigated statcheck’s ability to deal with statistical corrections for multiple testing or violations of assumptions in articles. We found that the prevalence of corrections for multiple testing or violations of assumptions in psychology was higher than we initially estimated in Nuijten et al. (2016). Although we found numerous reporting inconsistencies in results corrected for violations of the sphericity assumption, we demonstrate that inconsistencies associated with statistical corrections are not what is causing the high estimates of the prevalence of statistical reporting inconsistencies in psychology.

License: CC0 1.0 Universal


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