Once upon a time there were ten research studies with very similar hypotheses and methodologies. In nine of them, the results came out “negative” so the researchers never submitted their studies for publication. The researcher who reported “positive” results did publish the results.
What happens to the lessons learned from the “negative” studies? The results include information that can contribute to the knowledge base of that discipline. Unfortunately, it will not be shared because there is a perception that negative results are not publishable. As a result, time and money will be spent by other research teams repeating previous work. What about the study participants who have given their time and effort to contribute to the knowledge base? When results are not published their endeavors are wasted. Is this ethical? Continue reading “When a Negative Becomes a Positive”