Positive use of negative

August 30, 2002

It could be interpreted as another wheeze linked to the research assessment exercise, but The Diary is assured that a new publication, The Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine , has been launched for all the right reasons.

The journal wants biologists and clinicians to submit manuscripts that are unexpected, controversial and provocative, even if they are negative in terms of current thinking. The idea is that publishing such studies will prevent duplicate studies and will help scientists to learn from one another's mistakes. So, when your experiment fails and your hypothesis turns out to be false or, at least, your work provides no evidence that it is true, you know who to call.

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