Agricultural research, biometry and statistics
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CTA. 1996. Agricultural research, biometry and statistics. Spore 64. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47407
Biometry is nor just the mechanical application of mathematical procedures, but is a coherent concept which must beunderstood before implementing or analysing scientific experiments. In recent years the quality of scientific papers published...
Biometry is nor just the mechanical application of mathematical procedures, but is a coherent concept which must be understood before implementing or analysing scientific experiments. In recent years the quality of scientific papers published in agricultural research journals has unfortunately deteriorated in all disciplines: crop production, livestock, veterinary science, aquaculture and agroforestry. Peer group reviews carried our for scientific Journals increasingly call for the rejection of papers because the claims made by the authors do not stand up to statistical analysis. This problem is considered by 65% of agricultural research journal editors to be a major constraint to the publication of research work carried our in ACP countries. This situation is largely the result of the inadequacies of education systems having been reduced to a minimum and is not unique to the ACP countries. However, in these countries it has particularly serious consequences because funds available for research are very limited and must therefore be used effectively. Poor scientific papers give useless information or advice, with the result that no new measures are implemented and financial resources are wasted. The situation became aggravated with the development of biometry software: this can be used by any lay person to access dare and to produce a series of tables intended to indicate significant differences between treatment. The use of software seems to give authors the feeling that the results have been obtained by an almost magical process. CTA has therefore decided to address these issues, and has commissioned, a biometrician and an agriculturalist to carry our a major study. The nature and extent of the problem will be defined and the needs of users (researchers in agriculture, biometricians) identified.. Srraregies will be proposed to draw the attention of those involved in agricultural research to this problem, and finally, measures to improve the situation will be proposed.