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Comparing data accuracy between structured abstracts and full-text journal articles: implications in their use for informing clinical decisions

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  • Limitations The journal articles selected may not be representative of all scientific articles in the medical literature. The small sample of articles examined limits the generalisability of the findings in this study. We also only evaluated the utility of structured abstracts in guiding clinical decisions. We did not include research articles with unstructured abstracts. More reviewers would enhance the reliability of this type of evaluation. Further analysis with a broader sample of medical journals to include articles with unstructured abstracts is needed.

  • Contributors PF designed the study, participated in analysis of the results and helped draft the manuscript. AG participated in the study design and analysis of the results. RFS conducted statistical and qualitative analysis of the results and drafted the manuscript.

  • Funding This research was supported by the Intramural Research Programme of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine (NLM) and Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC). This research was also supported in part by an appointment to the NLM Research Participation Programme, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) through an interagency agreement between the US Department of Energy (DoE) and the NLM.

  • Disclaimer The views and opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health or the US Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Competing interests None.