Suppose Researchers Were Offered Money for Replications and Null Results. Suppose Few Took Up the Offer.

[Excerpts taken from the article “In praise of replication studies and null results”, an editorial published in Nature]
“The Berlin Institute of Health last year launched an initiative with the words, ‘Publish your NULL results — Fight the negative publication bias! Publish your Replication Study — Fight the replication crises!”
“The institute is offering its researchers €1,000 (US$1,085) for publishing either the results of replication studies — which repeat an experiment — or a null result, in which the outcome is different from that expected.’”
“…Twitter, it seems, took more notice than the thousands of eligible scientists at the translational-research institute. The offer to pay for such studies has so far attracted only 22 applicants — all of whom received the award.”
“Replication studies are important….But publishing this work is not always a priority for researchers, funders or editors — something that must change.”
“Aside from offering cash upfront, the Berlin Institute of Health has an app and advisers to help researchers to work out which journals, preprint servers and other outlets they should be contacting to publish replication studies and data.” 
“…more journals need to emphasize to the research community the benefits of publishing replications and null results.” 
“At Nature, replication studies are held to the same high standards as all our published papers. We welcome the submission of studies that provide insights into previously published results; those that can move a field forwards and those that might provide evidence of a transformative advance.”
“Not all null results and replications are equally important or informative, but, as a whole, they are undervalued. If researchers assume that replications or null results will be dismissed, then it is our role as journals to show that this is not the case. At the same time, more institutions and funders must step up and support replications — for example, by explicitly making them part of evaluation criteria.”
“We can all do more. Change cannot come soon enough.”
To read the article, click here.

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