New Journal of Negative Results launching soon
Have you ever found science hard to understand – or – confusing? A local business plans to help change that. Dr. Crista Royal from Evans, Georgia, and Andrew Harmon from Richmond, Kentucky, have teamed up to start the Journal of Negative Results. The Journal of Negative Results
(JNegRes) will bring balance to science by publishing ALL discoveries.
Currently, It is very difficult to publish “negative” results in science. Not all experiments produce results which instantly prove a hypothesis about how a natural process works. In fact, there are frequent false starts, unexpected outcomes which might reveal flaws in the test or show the need for changes in test conditions, procedures, methods of handling materials, animals – or in assumptions the scientist wasn’t even aware of making. Negative results are useful results. This kind of information is invaluable to research, but up to now -- unpublishable.
Negative results are NOT failures -- they are just not the results a scientist’s theory predicted. When some of Sir Alexander Fleming's staphylococcus bacteria cultures failed to grow due to contamination by fungus, he could have just thrown them out and filed his negative results away. Instead, he cultured the mold and discovered penicillin -- which eventually saved millions of lives (including Dr. Royal's!).
Dr. Royal‘s team believes all findings should be shared. Sharing negative results as well as positive ones would help refine our collective knowledge and bring our ideas closer to the actuality of how the universe works. Each negative result, as well as each positive result, brings us closer to the truth.
JNegRes will provide free public access to ideas, data and experiments that have had negative results, have been disproven, or, have had sufficient experiments done to demonstrate that the hypothesis tested is likely incorrect. It will also publish the results of studies that have sufficient data showing them to be unprofitable under contemporary conditions. Scientists will finally be able to publish their backlog of previously unpublishable data in an free, open access journal.
JNegRes will help keep scientists from wasting valuable time and money (primarily your tax dollars) on ideas that don't work. Currently, government grants for research, which are funded by taxpayers, are decreasing. And with the downturn in the economy, private companies are also cutting their research budgets. The National Institutes of Health, for example, are only funding 8% of grant applications. This makes it even more important that what little money is being spent on research is used efficiently and with minimal waste. Increased publication increases scientists' chances of getting grants, jobs and tenure in a competitive economy. Authors having previously unpublishable scientific data on negative results will pay page fees according to the open-access publishing model, once their papers have undergone peer-review. Papers will be published immediately upon approval to reduce chances of being scooped. Advertisers, primarily scientific suppliers or organizations, may advertise on discussion forum pages.
Dr. Royal came up with the idea of a Journal of Negative Results when in graduate school at the Medical College of Georgia, now Georgia Regent's University, in Augusta, GA. "Out of 10 projects I worked on in grad school, seven had negative results and the results were never published.
On just one of my projects with "negative results," which continued an idea from a published article, I spent 3 months and several hundred dollars, only to meet another scientist at a conference who had spent 8 months and several thousand dollars pursuing the same idea. 'It doesn't work.' she said. 'I wonder how many other people have done the exact same thing?' A journal of negative results would've been wonderful right then!" Now Dr. Royal thinks the time has come to make the idea a reality. She has started several successful small businesses and been a full partner in others. She is currently adjunct faculty in Biology at Augusta Technical Institute and plans to continue teaching part-time while starting the journal.
Mr. Andrew Harmon graduated with a Cum Laude with a bachelors degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in Computer Multimedia and a minor in Art from Eastern Kentucky University. He has won numerous art awards, and has been an instructor for middle school artists at Deane's School Of Art for two years. Since 2011 he has owned an independent film business, directed films locally and internationally, and held several workshops in video and art. Currently, Andrew is a web and graphic designer for organizations and individuals across the country, and the visual effects editor for ROCK International.
Dr. Royal and Mr. Harmon are harnessing a new technique called crowd-sourcing to raise money for their project. A website called Kickstarter.com showcases their journal and allows individuals to pledge support in exchange for incentive products. JNegRes launches it's project on Kickstarter.com on September 14, 2013. They hope to raise
$100,000 within 30 days in order to publish their first issue on September 1, 2014.
So, how will a Journal of Negative Results make science more understandable? If Dr. Royal and Mr. Harmon reach their funding goals, not only will each word of science terminology be defined, but an easy-to-read plain-English summary of each science article will also be provided -- making cutting edge science research available to everyone.
Crista Royal, Ph.D.
Journal of Negative Results
37 PLantation Hills Dr.
Evans, GA 30809
Posted By: Margaret Lemaster
Date: Tue Sep 24 17:51:09 EDT 2013