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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1  

Prospective on publishing negative results

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Result, Faculty of Pharmacy, AIMST University, Bedong 08100, Malaysia

Date of Web Publication20-May-2015

Correspondence Address:
Subramani Parasuraman
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Result, Faculty of Pharmacy, AIMST University, Bedong 08100
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-9234.157372

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How to cite this article:
Parasuraman S. Prospective on publishing negative results. J Pharm Negative Results 2015;6:1

How to cite this URL:
Parasuraman S. Prospective on publishing negative results. J Pharm Negative Results [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Aug 14];6:1. Available from:

Publication is an usual practice among researchers post completion of any research project or investigation. Publication is also a kind of documentation Process, which originated in the Neolithic human period itself. Documentation has been an ever-preset even since Neolithic times through the modus operandi is varied. [1]

Most of us used to publish our convincing/promising positive findings and we spend much time to explore the possible discussions, justifications to fortify them. During research, most of us fail to or forget to document these negative events/procedures. The issue associated withany research, especially the ones with negative result (eg.: no effect, ineffective methods), need to be documented properly to save the resources and man power of co-researchers and the future researchers. If one fails to document the negative results, it can lead to losses in terms of unnecessary monetary expenditure and manpower for future research focusing on same/ similar concepts.

Among the research publications, bias (positive-outcome bias) results in publishing only research work with positive findings. We may think that negative findings do not have any impact and their contribution to science is immaterial, but the negative result has its own significance. The media and editors' biases are also factors for the poor documentation of negative results and development of only positive-outcome bias. [2]

Most often we concentrate only on the positive findings of the study and never consider insignificant or negative results as research findings. The researcher should consider each and every study finding as a result and try to document it either as a publication or in open web blogs. By doing so, we can help others to save their resources and time. In recent years, many scientific journals have come forward to publish the 'limitations of the study' at the end of the research paper; in that column, authors can describe the 'pros and cons' of the study methodology. Negative results accounted for only 14% of the published papers in 2003, down from 30% in 1990. The 'failure result' will lead to the creation of newer hypotheses and it is also important to grasp scientific concepts and hypotheses in a clear and concise manner. [3]

The view of the authors/researchers, they are quite concerned about the study findings and is that are aware of the contradictory evidences of study hypotheses. The method of statistical test selection is also a factor to determine the significance of each study. As an editor, I observed few manuscripts submitted to Journal of Young Pharmacist and Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Result got rejected on account of/ due to statistical issues. In few of these papers, authors failed to give the details of 'statistical analysis' in methodology section and forget to capture the same information in figures and tables. Since statistical analysis plays a significant role in any research, authors have toprioritize that. If the researcher so requires, he/she may consult statistical experts or biostatisticians to eliminate biases and to select the appropriate statistical method to reject the null hypothesis. Authors must come forward to publish their negative results in peer-reviewed journals and make their results available for everyone. This will help other researchers and save the capital and human resources. The editors must also consider the negative results as important findings and ensure that each study really has a significant message for the readers.

The negative results will pave the way for better research.

   References Top

Parasuraman S, Mueen Ahmed KK. Issues in manuscript writing. J Young Pharm 2013;5:35-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Positive-outcome (publication) bias. Available from: [Last accessed on 2014 Jan 17].  Back to cited text no. 2


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