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July 7, 1962


JAMA. 1962;181(1):42-43. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050270044011

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There exists a rarely defined, but omnipresent reluctance to publish reports of "disappointing" conclusions. Therefore many of these studies are never completed or if completed are not submitted for publication. Since similar paths of research may be traversed repeatedly, the continuation of a trend based upon these attitudes could mean a serious loss in time and effort for clinicians and investigators in the medical sciences. Should it not be assumed that a significant percentage of all clinical observations and research projects will result in unexpected, hence "negative," findings? The negative result can become the impetus for a different avenue of investigation and serve thereby as an element in progress. Only a carefully documented negative study can correct misconceptions which are of recent vintage or those honored by decades of fallacious repetition.

Based upon these premises The Journal is starting a section entitled "Negative Results." Instituted primarily for the clinician this

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