"Journals of Negative Results"

A recent trend in academic sciences consist in the publication of "negative results". This is based on the idea that scientific articles published in traditional journals frequently provide insufficient evidence regarding negative data. More specifically, the point is to give a voice to negative results, experimental failures or results with low statistical significant. Some examples: Journal of Interesting Negative Results in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning As described on their website:

"The journal will bring to the fore research in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning that uncovers interesting negative results. (...) Insofar as both our research areas focus on theories "proven" via empirical methods, we are sure to encounter ideas that fail at the experimental stage for unexpected, and often interesting, reasons. Much can be learned by analysing why some ideas, while intuitive and plausible, do not work. The importance of counter-examples for disproving conjectures is already well known. Negative results may point to interesting and important open problems. Knowing directions that lead to dead-ends in research can help others avoid replicating paths that take them nowhere. This might accelerate progress or even break through walls!"

Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine As described on their website:

"Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that promotes a discussion of unexpected, controversial, provocative and/or negative results in the context of current tenets.

The journal invites scientists and physicians to submit work that illustrates how commonly used methods and techniques are unsuitable for studying a particular phenomenon. Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine strongly promotes and invites the publication of clinical trials that fall short of demonstrating an improvement over current treatments. The aim of the journal is to provide scientists and physicians with responsible and balanced information in order to improve experimental designs and clinical decisions."

Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Results As described on their website:

"Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Results is a peer reviewed journal developed to publish original, innovative and novel research articles resulting in negative results. This peer-reviewed scientific journal publishes theoretical and empirical papers that reports the negative findings and research failures in pharmaceutical field."

Journal of Negative Results in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology As described on their website:

"The primary intention of Journal of Negative Results is to provide an online-medium for the publication of peer-reviewed, sound scientific work in ecology and evolutionary biology that may otherwise remain unknown. In recent years, the trend has been to publish only studies with 'significant' results and to ignore studies that seem uneventful. This may lead to a biased, perhaps untrue, representation of what exists in nature. By counter-balancing such selective reporting, JNR aims to expand the capacity for formulating generalizations. The work to be published in JNR will include studies that 1) test novel or established hypotheses/theories that yield negative or dissenting results, or 2) replicate work published previously (in either cognate or different systems). Short notes on studies in which the data are biologically interesting but lack statistical power are also welcome."

Why do I blog this? Writing the conclusion of my book about technological failures lead me to discuss the importance of documentation. I highlighted (bold) the variety of purposes, which are sometimes different from one journal to another.

Besides, the title of the papers are utterly fascinating. See for yourself: "Failure of calcium gluconate internal gelation for prolonging drug release from alginate-chitosan-based ocular insert of atenolol", "Influence of some hydrophilic polymers on dissolution characteristics of furosemide through solid dispersion: An unsatisfied attempt for immediate release formulation", "Some commonly observed statistical errors in clinical trials published in Indian Medical Journals".