Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Over the years, standard methods for presenting results from statistical hypothesis tests have evolved. The Wildlife Society (1995a,b), for example, addressed Type II errors, statistical power, and related issues. However, articles by Cherry (1998), Johnson (1999), and Anderson et al. (2000) provide reason to reflect on how research results are best presented. Anderson et al. (2000) estimated that 47% of the P-values reported recently in The Journal of Wildlife Management were naked (i.e., only the P-value is presented with a statement about its significance or lack of significance, without estimated effect size or even the sign of the difference being provided). Reporting of such results provides no information and is thus without meaning. Perhaps more importantly, there are thousands of null hypotheses tested and reported each year in biological journals that are clearly false on simple a priori grounds (Johnson 1999). These are called "silly nulls" and account for over 90% of the null hypotheses tested in Ecology and The Journal of Wildlife Management (Anderson et al. 2000). We seem to be failing by addressing so many trivial issues in theoretical and applied ecology. Articles that employ silly nulls and statistical tests of hypotheses known to be false severely retard progress in our understanding of ecological systems and the effects of management programs (O'Connor 2000). The misuse and overuse of P-values is astonishing. Further, there is little analogous guidance for authors to present results of data analysis under the newer information-theoretic or Bayesian methods.
We suggest how to present results of data analysis under each of these 3 statistical paradigms: classical frequentist, information-theoretic, and Bayesian. We make no recommendation on the choice of analysis, instead, we focus on suggestions for the presentation of results of the data analysis. We assume authors are familiar with the analysis paradigm they have used; thus, we will not provide introductory material here.