Publication bias

From Academic Kids

Publication bias, also called the positive outcome bias, is typically the tendency for researchers to publish experimental results that have a positive result (found something), while consequently not publishing findings which have a negative result (found that something did not happen). As such, this may distort meta-analysis of large numbers of studies. The problem is particularly significant when the research is sponsored by entities that may have a financial interest in achieving favourable results.

In September 2004, editors of several prominent medical journals (including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, and JAMA) announced that they would no longer publish results of drug research sponsored from pharmaceutical companies unless that research was registered in a public database from the start. [1] (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/09/1094530773888.html) In this way, negative results should no longer be able to disappear.

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