Publishing unexpected results as a moral obligation for scientists


A revised European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity now specifically calls on researchers and publishers to not bury negative results.  Specifically, the guidelines formulate this principle for publication and dissemination:

  • Authors and publishers consider negative results to be as valid as positive findings for publication and dissemination.

My only complaint is this continued red herring of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ results.  There are results.  We should explore if the results are reliable and valid, but your particular liking of the result shouldn’t enter into the equation.  Still, a big step forward.

I found out about this through this news blurb:


I'm a teacher, researcher, and gadfly of neuroscience. My research interests are in the neural basis of learning and memory, the history of neuroscience, computational neuroscience, bibliometrics, and the philosophy of science. I teach courses in neuroscience, statistics, research methods, learning and memory, and happiness. In my spare time I'm usually tinkering with computers, writing programs, or playing ice hockey.

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