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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:54 PM

1. I used to think this was a problem.

In the last 5 years, less so. Not just because you can find pop-sci summaries of things online fairly easily--and that's what most people can handle. But because here are more pressing problems and when the research is available to the public, the first thing that many do is abuse it.

Even pop-sci writers are miserable at using the results of research. Recently read one stunningly bad article that summarized research, drew independent conclusions, and in the last paragraph gave the definitions of the terms used in the research. The definitions negated any possibility of the conclusions that the writer drew.

Pop-sci writers are almost as bad as education researchers.

Anyway, my current problem with publicizing research findings is the selectiveness of publication. One lab group I was sort of adjacent to had a lot of publications, but far more research. When it became obvious years after publication that they screwed up, they reviewed their original data as well as the reams of data that they had discounted as meaningless. The reams of additional data didn't support their thesis. Therefore it was ignored. That it supported another thesis wasn't important.

This was in a field where data is fairly freely shared. However, since the additional data wasn't the basis of any publication, there was no reason anybody would request it--nor was there any reason for anybody to feel an ethical responsibility for sharing it. The "no useful results" experiments and data vanished until the results were suddenly useful.

This was all paid for with NIH and NSF money. But the "no results" experiments and data weren't in the reports. It only became useful and acquired salience when other NIH and NSF money was spent to repeat the experiments ("for the first time" in other labs.

(1) Waste of resources that would make Peirce blush.
(2) Lack of dissemination of negative results and the data that could have pushed the field forward faster.

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kristopher Feb 2013 OP
LineNew Reply I used to think this was a problem.
Igel Feb 2013 #1
goldent Feb 2013 #2
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