Friday, March 04, 2011

B - Unpublished results hide the decline effect

Schooler J. Unpublished results hide the decline effect. Nature News 2011;470(437)
(doi:10.1038/470437a)

Many scientifically discovered effects published in the literature seem to diminish with time. Some scientists attribute the decline effect to statistical self-correction of initially exaggerated outcomes. But to be sure of this interpretation, "negative results" - that is, experimental outcomes that were not noteworthy or consistent enough to be published - should be available. The author suggests the creation of an open access repository of research methods and all research findings - published and unpublished - which would let scientists log their hypotheses and methodologies before an experiment, and their results afterwards, regardless of outcome.

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