Publish Negative Results

A provocative paper in The Scientist urges that more journals  publish negative results. (Editor: I have always argued that these are as scientifically important as positive results, even if they are less appealing to the press.) As the paper states, “Hypothesis-driven research is at the heart of scientific endeavour, and it is often the positive, confirmatory data that get the most attention and guide further research.” However, they assert that “negative data … are an integral part of scientific progress that deserve more attention.” Apart from supporting Popper’s view of science, publishing these papers would help diminish “publication bias”. This was part of the rationale for the creation of the Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine (JNRBM) in 2002.  As well, publishing negative results would reduce  duplication of effort and, it is argued,  would contribute to a more realistic appreciation of the “messy” nature of science.–Publish-Negative-Results/

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