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Identifying falsified clinical data


  • Lee, Joanne
  • Judge, George G


Clinical data serve as a necessary basis for medical decisions. Consequently, the importance of methods that help officials quickly identify human tampering of data cannot be underestimated. In this paper, we suggest Benford’s Law as a basis for objectively identifying the presence of experimenter distortions in the outcome of clinical research data. We test this tool on a clinical data set that contains falsified data and discuss the implications of using this and information-theoretic methods as a basis for identifying data manipulation and fraud.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Joanne & Judge, George G, 2008. "Identifying falsified clinical data," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt8x00h1c1, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt8x00h1c1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pietronero, L. & Tosatti, E. & Tosatti, V. & Vespignani, A., 2001. "Explaining the uneven distribution of numbers in nature: the laws of Benford and Zipf," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 293(1), pages 297-304.
    2. Nye John & Moul Charles, 2007. "The Political Economy of Numbers: On the Application of Benford's Law to International Macroeconomic Statistics," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-14, July.
    3. David Giles, 2007. "Benford's law and naturally occurring prices in certain ebaY auctions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 157-161.
    4. George Judge & Laura Schechter, 2009. "Detecting Problems in Survey Data Using Benford’s Law," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
    5. Grendar, Marian & Judge, George & Schechter, Laura, 2007. "An empirical non-parametric likelihood family of data-based Benford-like distributions," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 380(C), pages 429-438.
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