Monday, March 7, 2016

Granqvist's "Why Science Needs to Publish Negative Results"

This link is worth it for these pictures alone:

I know, right? Perfect for teaching research methods and explaining the positivity bias in publication.

These figures also sum up the reasoning behind the new journal described in this article. New Negatives in Plant Science was founded in order to combat the file drawer problem. It publishes non-significant research. It is open access. It publishes commentaries. It even plans special issues for specific controversial topics within Plant Science. Which absolutely, positively are NOT my jam. However, the creators of this journal hope that it will serve as a model for other fields. Given the recent flare up in the Replication Crisis (now Replication War?), this new journal provides a model for on-going, peer reviewed, replication and debate.

I think this journal (or the idea behind this journal) could be used in a research methods class as a discussion piece. Specifically, how else could we reduce the file drawer problem? The Open Science Framework offers a new model for transparency in research. Retraction watch provides a highly visible platform for tracking research that makes it through peer review but is later pulled by a journal. What else could we be doing to better vet our research?