Raj Koothrappali: “Don’t feel bad Leonard, negative results are still results”

Negative results need airing too : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

As a follow-up to a very interesting publication about extra-sensory perception, a commentary from two member of the NIH on the publication of negative results, published in Nature Correspondence. The basis of the argument is that amongst 20 studies, at least one will hit the magical p<0.05, so there is a need for an avenue for the publication of negative evidence.

I’m not sure that this argument is valid, and I’m not sure that ALL negative experiments need to be published either. In fact, some of the most remarkable research that has been published has been negative evidence that falsifies existing theory – and these certainly didn’t need special avenues for publication.

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