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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 150-152

Omission of quality assurance during data entry in public health research from India: Is there an elephant in the room?

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Director (Centre for Operational Research), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), Paris, France
3 Project Coordinator and Medical Team Leader, Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) Operational Center Barcelona and Athens, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Nafis Faizi
Department of Community Medicine, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh - 202 002, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_386_16

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As the adage, “Garbage in, Garbage out” goes, data entry errors may lead to erroneous results and conclusions. Quality assurance during data entry is one of the most neglected components of research and is conspicuously missing in most of the reporting standards. In this study, we reviewed research studies published in Indian Journal of Public Health and Indian Journal of Community Medicine during 2014–2016 and determined the proportion of papers reporting on quality assurance during data entry. Of 110 papers, only 6 (5.5%) papers explicitly included a statement about data quality assurance, with two studies reported to have performed double entry and validation, considered the gold standard in quality-assurance of data entry. This is highly unacceptable. We hereby appeal to the community of researchers, peer reviewers, and journal editors in India to pay attention to this important aspect of research and make reporting of quality assurance of data entry mandatory in every published paper.

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