JCPP Editorial: Volume 59, Issue 08, August 2018

Louie Sandys
Journal Operations Manager at ACAMH

Posted on

Editorial: Sweet nothings – the value of negative findings for scientific progress

A.J. (Tineke) Oldehinkel


It is well‐known that selective outcome reporting and publication distort the information that is made publicly available, and so undermine the reliability of what we consider evidence‐based knowledge. Perhaps less known is that the risk of bias extends beyond the process of reporting and publishing results. Two further sources of bias are spin and selective citing. Spin relates to selective interpretation, meant to transform a basically negative conclusion into a more positively toned one; citation bias is the phenomenon that positive findings tend to be cited more than negative ones. The effects of these sources of imbalance accumulate, and the consequences can be huge. This issue of JCPP contains several articles with wholly or partly negative findings, which hopefully will be cited frequently. Publications regarding negative findings comprise an underrepresented and often undervalued minority, and therefore deserve all the support they can get.

We hope you enjoy the full editorial of this Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Issue, which is free on the Wiley Online Library.

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