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New journals attempting to address publication bias

There is an article in the Wall Street Journal about journals that publish negative results. There is a problem with scientific research that positive results are more likely to get published than negative ones. This can lead to spurious statistical results and researchers wasting their time because a procedure or technique might appear more successful than it really is.

A 1999 analysis found that the percentage of positive studies in some fields routinely tops 90%. That is statistically implausible, suggesting that negative results are being deep-sixed. As a result, “what we read in the journals may bear only the slightest resemblance” to reality, concluded Lee Sigelman of George Washington University.

The article gives several examples of times when publication bias led to real problems and outlines several journals which are publishing negative results only in an attempt to address this perceived bias.

Source: New Journals Bet ‘Negative Results’ Save Time, Money.

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