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I am reviewing a paper where I found this sentence repeatedly:

A is statistically insignificantly worse than B

I consider this to be confusing since, for me at least, it is not immediately clear if it is the same as:

A is not statistically significantly worse than B

Maybe the authors are trying to convey the fact that the data for A are worse, but that this is not statistically significant. If this is the case though, it is not clear whether they mean that the sample average is worse or sample median is worse or something else.

Should I recommend that they reformulate this sentence or is it common practice to say "statistically insignificantly worse"?

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While the sentence is indeed vague it should be clarified by numbers. If it isn't insist they report numbers. –  John Aug 30 at 20:34
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Another potential spin on what the authors may want to say is that A is non-inferior to B. In any case the current formulation must be improved because it is confusing. –  Marc Claesen Aug 31 at 9:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I've never heard this before, and hope I don't again! They should say something like "the $A$ mean is less than the $B$ mean, but the difference is not statistically significant".

Often in articles you see something like "$\bar y_B - \bar y_A = 1.32$ ($P = 0.236$)." which conveys a lot more information in less space. There could be worse conventions than this.

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