Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Tenuous State of Research on PTSD in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Infodemic

Authored by: Gordon J. G. Asmundson & Steven Taylor

In this editorial, the authors discuss the issue of the “infodemic” that is currently occurring with COVID-19-related research. Researchers have been rushing to conduct and publish studies about COVID-19 so that much-needed scientific advancements can occur as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, rushing research can create serious problems like flawed study techniques, which can lead to study results and conclusions that are inaccurate. When later steps of the research process are also rushed, like the review of study manuscripts by other experts in the field, the result is an “infodemic” or flood of research that varies drastically in quality. The research published so far on COVID-19 ranges from very low quality to very high quality, and from very inaccurate to very accurate. The people reading about COVID-19 research studies are then left to try to figure out which studies have results that can be trusted because the research was of high quality, and which studies should be ignored because the quality of the research was too low. The authors call on all researchers to avoid cutting corners so that the research on COVID-19 can continue advancing and the public can maintain its confidence in science.

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