by syaffolee


Tracking down a source. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting on a study that links miscarriages to caffeine consumption. However, upon a cursory glance, the study doesn’t seem to exist. I also tried combing through the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology website just as Adventures in Ethics and Science did and found nothing. A search on PubMed using the authors’ names also does not reveal the paper. On Google Scholar, there’s a “citation” to the work, although who cited it and exactly what that means on the search result is pretty much fuzzy to me. I also searched by DOI, and told me: “Error – DOI Not Found”.

Maybe the journalist got the journal title wrong? I noticed on the “lead” author’s webpage that he had published an article in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Maybe it’s in there–but nope. I also looked up Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, and Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Reproductive Medicine. Nothing in all of them.

Then I searched using keywords on PubMed, particularly “caffeine” and “miscarriage”. I got this article by Savitz et al., published in January 2008 in Epidemiology. Definitely same subject, although completely opposite conclusions.