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Research needs to be both trustworthy and clinically useful. It can improve treatment of patients either alone or when integrated with other evidence. However, a requirement for research to be both useful and trustworthy is that the applied research methods are of high standards. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. At least as long ago as 1994, Professor Doug Altman stated: “ We need less research, better research, and research done for the right reasons in his opinion piece ’The scandal of poor medical research’.1 In 2009, it was estimated that as much as 85% of all medical research is useless or untrustworthy, usually because it asks the wrong questions, is badly designed, not published or poorly reported.2 Research in sport and exercise medicine (SEM) is no exception.3 The competitiveness for grants, position and prestige is rising in this area of research, evidenced by the increasing number of annual SEM publications. The number of PubMed hits using ‘sports …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.