Year : 2019  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 352-355

Is positive publication bias really a bias, or an intentionally created discrimination toward negative results?

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Triveni Institute of Dental Sciences, Hospital and Research Centre, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Rungta College of Dental Sciences and Research, Kohka, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hunny Sharma
MD 264, Phase 4, Near AIIMS Residential Complex, Kabir Nagar, Tatibandh Raipur - 492 099, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.SJA_124_19

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Today in publish or perish era, where manuscripts and research with successfully proven hypothesis or positive results are given more importance by journals, editors, funders, and institutions. The publication of researches with negative or null results is on the verge of extinction, thus creating an intentional bias known as publication bias. This review aims to discuss the consequence of the undermined importance of negative results and problems associated with it and will elaborate the importance of reporting negative results. Under-reporting of negative results not only wastes other researchers time, money, and manpower on which their researchers will be based but also introduces bias in meta-analysis leading to distortion of the scientific literature and misleads researchers, doctors, and policymakers in their decision-making. Many such important studies with negative results remain unpublished and therefore unavailable to the scientific community for understanding their values. A large number of human studies with huge risk to life's are carried out with the assurance that the proposed study will be performed with the aim to benefit, and results will be dissipated to everyone concerned, non-publication of such studies with negative results will not only be morally wrong but will also have ethical obligations to deal with. Therefore, all journals and their editor along with researchers and stakeholders need to be generous in giving importance to disseminating negative and positive findings alike.

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