Quebec cites questionable sources to justify the curfew

In a press release issued on Thursday, (A new window), the Ministry of Health and Social Services He cites four studies which, he said, Demonstrate the effects and effectiveness of the curfew. The release of this press release followed the press conference during which the tightening of health restrictions in Quebec was announced.

Prime Minister Francois Legault said during the press conference some pointers According to which the curfew can have a beneficial effect on the epidemiological situation. It has also invoked logical question, although Quebec is currently the only place in North America and one of the few places in the world to resort to such a measure in the face of the general rise of the Omicron variant.

the Ministry of Health and Social Services He had previously admitted that he had not personally conducted a study on the effects of the measure imposed on Quebec from January to May 2021.

a intellectual fraud

Among the studies cited by Thursday Ministry of Health and Social Services, two were implemented in France, one in Ontario and one in Jordan.

The latter was published in the magazine Frontiers in public healthPublisher the borderHe was named to Beall’s list of potentially predatory magazines and publishers (A new window), which is the standard in this field.

predatory publishers Claim to legitimately publish open journals, while peer review practices are questionable, and quality control is inadequate, Can we read on the website of the University of Montreal Libraries.

These magazines and publishers constitute predatory A massive and very dangerous intellectual scamAccording to philosopher and essayist Norman Baylargon, known for his writings on critical thinking.

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We give each other semblance of credibility, he continues in a telephone interview, which may confuse the general public and even some researchers, but it is a process that draws near pseudoscience.

During Thursday’s press conference, Prime Minister Francois Legault invoked “common sense” to justify the imposition of a curfew in Quebec.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Graham Hughes

in case if the borderThe publisher was included in the list amid allegations of misconduct during the peer review process in several of its journals, the Bealllist website said. Some, for example, have not been removed from magazine editorial boards. the border despite their requests.

Julian Simard, a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Social Work at McGill University, and Emma Jean, a doctoral student in sociology at the University of Montreal, say they are upset that Ministry of Health and Social Services You may think this article is credible.

The author claims to prove the effectiveness of the Jordanian curfew through an international comparison with other countries in the Arab world, but he does not adjust his data to be comparable, for example, taking into account the screening capabilities that differ greatly between countries., deplore.

The methodology used is so primitive that the study is unnecessary, they continue with an email after seeing the study he cited Ministry of Health and Social Services At the request of Radio Canada.

When asked about this by e-mail, the Ministry of Health and Social Services He had not responded to Radio Canada’s requests regarding the reliability of the study at the time this text was published.

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He questioned the importance of other studies

Julien Simard and Emma Jean examined the impact of the first curfew in Quebec (A new window), and concluded in a publication – not subject to peer review – that the apparent effect of the procedure was Not found.

Academics also question the methodology or relevance of the other studies he cited Ministry of Health and Social Services Thursday.

The Ontario study, according to them, suffers from several methodological weaknesses, particularly with regard to data transparency and underlying assumptions. Plus, and even though it’s back in April, It has not yet been published, which suggests that the authors may have a hard time getting it published while showing us that it has not been reviewed by the scientific community.Keep it up.

The two French studies were peer-reviewed and published in peer-reviewed journals and Totally credibleAccording to the researchers, it clearly shows a decrease in the number of cases and the reproductive rate (Rt) following the implementation of the curfew. However, what the researchers in Quebec noticed during the first curfew was a decrease in these variables even before it was imposed and a lack of effect afterwards.

Response Reproduction rate Regarding the curfew that is practically non-existent in Quebec, it seems to be real in France, they write.

Julian Simard and Emma Jean confirm It is difficult to isolate the effect of a measure such as a curfew from a social behavior that varies in itself according to several cultural, political, socioeconomic and possibly also climatic factors, so that it is difficult to apply conclusions from outside in the context of Quebec.

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