Comparing Study Designs for Citation Bias

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In an explanatory research design, the most likely kind of bias is the citation type. In citation bias, researchers may be reluctant to publish some discouraging findings, especially if they believe that they may tarnish their reputations or personal abilities and affect the effectiveness of their products. For that reason, citation bias makes researchers submit positive results only for publication, while suppressing negative findings. In most cases, the motive of citation bias is to gain popularity or self-appraisal (Riegelman, 2005). Positive results, also known as statistically significant findings, may include results that show that a certain intervention is functioning well. Citation bias is likely to be encountered in explanatory research designs because through them, causal hypotheses can be investigated, analyzed, tested, and published. Explanatory research investigates why certain variables are related and it tries to look into the causes of certain phenomena. However, in the process of publication of the findings, some researchers are likely to concentrate on positive results alone and ignore the negative ones (Riegelman, 2005). Citation bias may be common in medical research studies, especially in those that try to find the cure for a significantly important or mysterious pathogen. In this case, only the positive sides of the results are likely to be published. For example, a potential drug against a certain intractable virus, which has been researched on, is
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