Complex Genetics


Meta-research is the study of research process itself. Scientific research is the corner stone of human development and need continues scrutiny. Society expects it to be conducted at the highest level of performance but trust in research institutes is diminishing. This team studies research via systematic reviews and meta-analyses with a focus on the integrity of research and on evidence-based publishing - including peer review, authorship, conflicts of interest, and publication ethics - in collaboration with the British Medical Journal. The team has coined new research biases, such as citation bias and abstract bias.

Team leader

Gerard Swaen, PhD

Ongoing projects 

  • Selective citation in science based decision-making (SOUNDSCIENCE)
  • European Ethics and Research Integrity Network (ENERI)
  • Responsible Epidemiologic Research Practice (RERP)
  • Standardized Protocol Items: Recommendations for Observational Studies (SPIROS)

PhD programmes

E6: Research Integrity (Gerard Swaen)
E7: Evidence-based Publishing (Maurice Zeegers)

Last 5 publications

  1. Urlings, M.J.E., et al., Citation bias in the literature on dietary trans fatty acids and serum cholesterol. J Clin Epidemiol, 2018.
  2. Duyx, B., et al., Selective citation in the literature on swimming in chlorinated water and childhood asthma: a network analysis. Res Integr Peer Rev, 2017. 2(17): p. 17.
  3. Duyx, B., et al., Scientific citations favor positive results: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Epidemiol, 2017. 88: p. 92-101.
  4. Swaen, G.M., M.J. Urlings, and M.P. Zeegers, Outcome reporting bias in observational epidemiology studies on phthalates. Ann Epidemiol, 2016. 26(8): p. 597-599 e4.