Friday, 1 March 2013

Psychology Professor explains why repeat studies and negative findingsare essential, as section editor of new journal

Keith Laws, Professor of cognitive neuropsychology at the University of Hertfordshire, is a section-editor of the new open access journal, BMC Psychology and to coincide with its launch, Keith has provided a commentary for the journal, and an editorial in the Guardian on the importance of publishing repeat studies and negative ‘null’ findings, claiming they are essential to securing the reliability of results.

BMC Psychology is the first of its kind to be solely dedicated to all aspects of psychology and as Keith explains in his commentary, it will be the first to ‘encourage submissions of replications and null findings’, believing it to be a ‘key part of redressing the scientific reputation of psychology’.

In his editorial for the Guardian, Keith stated that ‘in a survey of nearly 6,000 American psychologists, the majority admitted being guilty of selectively reporting studies that ‘worked’ (67%)’ and continued ‘to collect data to reach a significant result (71%)’. But Keith stresses that keeping the failed replications and null findings unknown, may have huge implications to future studies – where the results may be replicated again until by chance a significant result is produced and published – giving an unreliable submission.

To read the full editorial in the Guardian, visit

To view the new open access journal BMC Psychology, and Keith’s commentary as section editor, visit

1 comment:

  1. Listen to Keith in a live debate on BBC Radio 3 Night Waves tomorrow evening (Wed 13 March) at 10pm