Negative Results – Not Just For Journal Articles?

David Bruggeman offers another twist on turning negatives into positives here. I’d like to add to this that it’s part of an ethos of not being afraid to make mistakes, even of valuing them. Some might refer to this as an entrepreneurial attitude.

Pasco Phronesis

There is a strong positive bias in how scientific knowledge is generated, written about, and measured.  It is easier to find research proving a hypothesis than replication studies that fail to confirm earlier findings.  It is easier to access explanations of why certain technologies came to be than studies about why we don’t have flying cars, or some other breakthrough promised to us through the magnificence of science and technology.  It’s an enormous hole in our understanding of the world, facilitated by the mores of the scientific reward system.

The same is true for metrics.  While the number of ways one can assess the impact of a particular paper is changing, many of the ‘alt’ metrics emerging are still thinking primarily in positive terms.  At least that’s the proposition of J. Britt Holbrook and some of his colleagues at the University of North Texas.  In a letter to Nature

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