Celebrating the positives in negative results
Although most scientists understand the importance of publishing all study data, it remains a fact that articles describing data that do not confirm the author’s hypothesis are less likely to be published – or even written! To combat the negativity surrounding negative results, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)’s Preclinical Data Forum has launched a €10,000 prize to encourage publication of ‘negative’ scientific data.
As recently reported by ZME Science, not only are journals less likely to publish articles containing negative results, often these studies don’t get as far as being submitted. In a study published by Nature looking at 221 sociological studies carried out between 2002 and 2012, only 20% of studies with negative results were published, compared with 60% of those with positive results. Sixty five percent of studies with negative results were not even written up. The consequences of failing to disseminate negative data include wasted time and resources, if other research groups embark on similar projects, and impeding the potential value to secondary research.
Initially aimed at preclinical neuroscience research, the ECNP are inviting applications now!
Summary by Philippa Flemming PhD, CMPP from Aspire Scientific
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