Study: Academic researchers exaggerate study results

Is that recent study announced by an academic medical center a groundbreaking piece of research, or just a routine effort that isn't going to change the world very much? Often, such studies aren't nearly as important as the press releases announcing them make them sound, according to a new study appearing in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study in Annals looks at press releases that academic medical centers send out about their research, looking at factors such as whether the releases offered data on the studies' size, whether they provided hard results and whether they offered cautions about the results.

The researchers behind the study looked at releases from EurekAlert issued by 20 academic medical centers and their affiliates in 2005. They concluded that of 200 releases, 29 percent exaggerated their findings.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Wall Street Journal blog