Q: Would it be salami slicing if two papers used the same dataset and method but led to different outcomes?

Detailed Question -

This is a follow-up question to: If the dataset and method for two papers are the same but the result is different, would they be considered a case of salami slicing?

In the above scenario, what if different outcomes are obtained (such as ‘certified long-term care is required’ and ‘death’)?

1 Answer to this question

Hello, Dr Satoshi. Thanks for adding to your previous question. Based on the additional information you have provided, salami slicing may not be the problem here. However, there may be other points to consider, as discussed below. [Incidentally, from a design perspective, if using the same dataset and method provides an additional outcome, it would seem there is more than one variable (apart from A, which you have mentioned) in the study.]

  • As we mentioned previously, if the two outcomes are vastly different, salami slicing may not be an issue. From the examples you have provided, it seems your two research questions are also different. One (this paper) would seem to be about a prognosis or a prescription (long-term care), while the other (the previous paper) would seem to be about a diagnosis. In this scenario, there may be a case for having two different papers. [If you decide on this, some of the other steps to take are the same as those mentioned in the earlier response.]
  • Based only on the information provided (the terminology seems to suggest your field is geriatrics, gerontology, or something similar or interdisciplinary), it would seem the earlier research may have required institutional review board (IRB) approval. If so, you may have another matter to consider. If the proposed new paper is a secondary analysis, you may need the IRB approval/waiver for the secondary analysis. [For a similar issue by another researcher, you may refer to this query: Would it be an issue if I submit a paper based on my doctoral dissertation for which I have IRB approval for the raw data but not for the secondary analysis?]

Hope that helps. As discussed last time too, feel free to discuss the matter with a peer or senior.

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