Analysis of statistical methods currently used in toxicology journals

Jihye Na, Hyeri Yang, Seung Jin Bae, Kyung Min Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Statistical methods are frequently used in toxicology, yet it is not clear whether the methods employed by the studies are used consistently and conducted based on sound statistical grounds. The purpose of this paper is to describe statistical methods used in top toxicology journals. More specifically, we sampled 30 papers published in 2014 from Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Archives of Toxicology, and Toxicological Science and described methodologies used to provide descriptive and inferential statistics. One hundred thirteen endpoints were observed in those 30 papers, and most studies had sample size less than 10, with the median and the mode being 6 and 3 & 6, respectively. Mean (105/113, 93%) was dominantly used to measure central tendency, and standard error of the mean (64/113, 57%) and standard deviation (39/113, 34%) were used to measure dispersion, while few studies provide justifications regarding why the methods being selected. Inferential statistics were frequently conducted (93/113, 82%), with one-way ANOVA being most popular (52/93, 56%), yet few studies conducted either normality or equal variance test. These results suggest that more consistent and appropriate use of statistical method is necessary which may enhance the role of toxicology in public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalToxicological Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Biostatistics
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics
  • Standard deviation
  • Standard error of mean
  • Toxicology


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