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25-07-2019 | Eye-Opener | Uitgave 4/2019 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 4/2019

Limited by our limitations

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 4/2019
Paula T. Ross, Nikki L. Bibler Zaidi


Study limitations represent weaknesses within a research design that may influence outcomes and conclusions of the research. Researchers have an obligation to the academic community to present complete and honest limitations of a presented study. Too often, authors use generic descriptions to describe study limitations. Including redundant or irrelevant limitations is an ineffective use of the already limited word count. A meaningful presentation of study limitations should describe the potential limitation, explain the implication of the limitation, provide possible alternative approaches, and describe steps taken to mitigate the limitation. This includes placing research findings within their proper context to ensure readers do not overemphasize or minimize findings. A more complete presentation will enrich the readers’ understanding of the study’s limitations and support future investigation.
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