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FUTON bias stands for 'Full Text On the Net' bias and refers to the failure in academic research, when researchers tend to search and read what is available online, and ignore relevant studies that are available offline in printed format only. Very few libraries in general have a full range of journals available, and if the article is available, it may be only in microfilm or microfiche format.
FUTON bias adversely affects sources that are older and/or published in less developed countries, as there is evidence that articles that are available as full text on the Internet are more likely to be accessed, read and quoted and therefore more likely to impact decision making.
If an article has no abstract available online, it is likely to be affected by the NAA bias ('No Abstract Available' bias). Researchers are less likely to access articles without online abstracts. This may be further compounded if an article has an unclear title, and the extreme case are articles whose very title is not even online.
See also Edit
- Impact of FUTON and NAA Bias on Visibility of Research, Murali NS, Murali HR, Auethavekiat P, Erwin PJ, Mandrekar JN, Manek NJ, Ghosh AK. Mayo Clin Proc 2004: 79(8); 1001-6.
- Visibility of research: FUTON bias, Wentz R. Lancet 2002: 360(9341); 1256. Letter and Reply, Medpundit blog discussion
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