Negative results: Publish or not to publish?

Everyone likes positive results. But the fact is that they are the fewer, especially when you talk about Science. Many scientific journals skew towards only publishing "positive" data; that is, data that fruitfully proves a hypothesis. Others, like The All Results Journals are the home for negative data: experimental certification of hypotheses that end up not to be true, or other experiments that do not lead to an advance of a specific hypothesis but are, on the other hand, a true rendering of that experiment. For example, if a researcher set up a cell-based experiment and the experiment did not work in a specified set of conditions, it would be very meaningful for other investigators to know this (to avoid time and money wasting and better planning). There is a huge unexploited resource of experimental facts convicted in laboratory notebooks that could be of great service to the scientific family at large. Many experiments fail to produce results or expected discoveries. This high number of "failed" research can still generate high quality information. The main purpose of The All Results Journals is to recover and publish these priceless pieces of scientific knowledge.

As they (The All Results Journals) carry on publishing negative results, the newer generation of scholars will not waste their time and funding duplicating the equivalent studies and finding the same results (negative in this case). Negative results are high-level pieces of wisdom that needs to be published. Some authors have pointed out elsewhere the problem of publication bias, a well-known phenomenon in clinical writings, in which affirmative results have a better chance of being published, are published quicker, and are published in journals with higher impact factors. So this is a real drawback.

As specialists we strive for remarkable insights within biological systems that will further widen our comprehension of the human condition, maturing, cancer, autoimmunity, etc.  Occasionally the components just don't add up. These negative results in Biology move our next step at the bench but are infrequently published.  Bringing to light these types of insights under peer review will strengthen our way of life for the greater good. If you make accessible a article about what didn't work you can build on the problems of others rather than simply reduplicate them.  As an alternative of three steps forward and two steps back, Science could just move forward.

In Cancer research or chemotherapeutic development, for example, the trend is to publish data showing efficacy.  We offer that inefficacy could also be of remarkable significance to the scientific community. What medicines failed, in what types of cancer and why; the latter question albeit difficult to resolve. One could visualize the same trends emerging from this type of work in terms of gene expression profiling, proteomics and biomarkers.  Agent X will not be highly effective in cancer Y because of overexpression of biomarker Z. A paper focused on the inefficacy of a particular chemotherapeutic chemical could help in moving the cancer biology field forward by offering a discussion forum to share with the increasing cancer research community the same negative findings that may have made a contribution to the development of a very successful agent.

Just the tip of the iceberg are being published in Science; only positive results. Initiatives like The All Results Journals:Chem target publishing carefully carried out chemical tests generating negative results. These journals are trying to get out the water the complete iceberg (the total study, showing "All Results" of the scientist, the complete picture of his research topic, the real job done, not only the positive outcomes). Scientific researchers have the responsibility to study Nature and inform everything, and this includes documenting the negative studies. Even more: the research projects might have been funded by nation agencies, and that means public financial resources... In part, funding agencies have some responsibility; they should also support the publishing of all results (specially negative results) not only positive.

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