Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine (http://www.

Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine (http://www.jnrbm.com/) is dedicated to publishing dead ends, unpromising results, and data that no one else wants to see. The current issue includes articles with titles such as “Metallothionein genes: no association with Crohn’s disease in a New Zealand population” (there goes a perfectly good guess), and “Female menstrual cycle does not influence testosterone concentration in male partners” (that would have been convenient).

While we are at it, here are some suggested titles, willfully plagiarized from Adam Ruben’s latest column in Science :

• Journal of Questionable Conclusions

• Journal of p > 0.05

• Journal of Highfalutin Jargon

• Science: The Swimsuit Issue

• The Undergraduate Journal of Look, I Played Angry Birds in Your Lab for an Hour, and I Want Course Credit

More science humor at: http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2012_02_24/caredit.a1200021

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40 Responses to Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine (http://www.

  1. Rajini Rao says:


    Mark kusminski What ?


  2. Wow. That comment has got to win an award for the most irrelevant wtf comment ever.

  3. Rajini Rao says:


    Oh no, Buddhini Samarasinghe , you should see some of the ones I “sanitize” away each morning 😀

  4. RJ Matlock says:


    1P–title; Science: How to get a Grant with false data.

  5. Jim Douglas says:


    Disclaimer: This is not “Science: The Swimsuit Issue” (Putting that up front to minimize blowback). But your whimsical title reminded me of this site (which actually has a serious purpose — to dispel stereotypes): http://lookslikescience.tumblr.com/

  6. Rajini Rao says:


    Well, no RJ Matlock , that would be seriously unfunny. As the linked article says, Science is full of negative results, so thank goodness we now have a place to publish them.


  7. Rajini Rao You should take screen-grabs and make a separate album! Some of them can be really funny to laugh at when you’re stuck for humour.

  8. Rajini Rao says:


    Jim Douglas , that is an awesome site, thank you! A great way to challenge Hollywood stereotypes 🙂 BTW, my title is for real.

  9. Rajini Rao says:


    Mark kusminski , when the nonlinear regression of my negative data asymptotically approaches the time axis at infinity.

  10. RJ Matlock says:


    I think never might be easier understood 🙂

  11. Rajini Rao says:


    But that would be no fun, RJ Matlock 😉


  12. Oh man, we desperately need a similar journal for chemistry. It is quite frustrating how many failed reactions or experiments we have, especially when it is likely that others have tried and failed in the same way.

  13. Rajini Rao says:


    I know, really! Gnotic Pasta . The acronyms and jargon make my head spin. A good friend of mind just published a paper with this title, “Expansion of a subset of CD14highCD16negCCR2low/neg monocytes functionally similar to myeloid-derived suppressor cells during SIV and HIV infection”. Wisely, I just congratulated him and did not attempt to read beyond the title 🙂

  14. Kerri Sharp says:


    My fav: Journal of p > 0.05. I have plenty of those! Crossing fingers that my dissertation work will not need to be sent to JNRBM!

  15. Norman M. says:


    Negative results do contain information.

  16. Rajini Rao says:


    Very true, Norman Ma ! That was my favorite too, Kerri Rawson. Tyranny of error bars 🙂

  17. Rajini Rao says:


    Today is just my lucky day, Gnotic Pasta 😉

  18. Larry Mayer says:


    the perfect negative autocorrelation of the residuals is spooky


  19. Gnotic Pasta Nice to meet you. But shouldn’t it be gnostic?


  20. Story of my life 😉


    In this case, it is because I feel quite particular about gnosticism.


  21. Gnotic Pasta It is a long story, but at this point, I would be surprised if the demiurge didn’t create the world and I would be equally surprised if it wasn’t a grad student, actually 😉

  22. Dayrk Flaugh says:


    Great! A place for my high school science students to put their research!

  23. julie woods says:


    Hey! I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing!

  24. Deeksha Tare says:


    LOLzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This one’s really very funny! Thanks Rajini Rao 🙂

  25. Rahul Roy says:


    Just looked into your profile Rajini Rao and found some awesome stuff. There is a reason why you are in top 100 Indians on Google+. keep posting..


    Thanks to Circlecount.

  26. Rahul Roy says:


    Yes prabhat parmal, I just made it to top 100 Indians on G+, so I was analysing other peoples in that list and I found her..Awesome content.

  27. Chad Haney says:


    We had some negative results regarding a green tea extract in a prostate cancer model. We had to send it to 3-4 journals before publishing in some obscure Italian physics journal (no offense Italian friends).


    BTW, epic win for Rajini Rao comment, “when the nonlinear regression of my negative data asymptotically approaches the time axis at infinity.”

  28. J Stasko says:


    The Undergraduate Journal of Look, I Played Angry Birds in Your Lab for an Hour, and I Want Course Credit… I can’t stop lauging.

  29. Rajini Rao says:


    Chad Haney , we had a mighty struggle recently to get some negative data published in a decent journal. In the end, it took every ounce of persuasion on my part 🙂 Reproduced for your amusement, is an excerpt from my rebuttal letter where I made the case for disproving a hypothesis: It is a time-honored and classical scientific approach to derive insight into a biological process by disproving a reasonable hypothesis. In his highly cited paper on “strong inference”, Platt points out that many investigators do not focus on the exclusion of a hypothesis, and “fail to realize the added power that the regular and explicit use of alternative hypotheses and sharp exclusions could give us at every step of our research.” Thus, it is as important (if not more) to disprove a viable hypothesis, as it is to prove one.


    References: 1. Strong Inference: Certain systematic methods of scientific thinking may produce much more rapid progress than others. Platt JR. Science. 1964 Oct16;146(3642):347-53.


    2. The strong-inference protocol: not just for grant proposals. Hiebert SM. Adv Physiol Educ. 2007 Mar;31(1):93-6.


    P.S. it worked 🙂

  30. J Stasko says:


    Rajini Rao Nice refs, added to my reading list.

  31. Rajini Rao says:


    LOL, Peter Lindelauf , another awesome anecdote from my witty Canuck circle 🙂 I will be sure to use levity as the antidote for gravity in future conversations!


  32. Rajini Rao Those are classic references. Personally, I would also invoke Michelson-Morley.

  33. Rajini Rao says:


    I will confess, Pascal Wallisch , that I stole those references from a class that my graduate student was taking 😉 In reality, as you know, negative data in biomedical science are almost impossible to offload even if the quality is impeccable. So you think I should have pointed out that Michelson went on to win the Nobel for his null results? 🙂


  34. Rajini Rao This is just a pet peeve of mine. And yes, plenty of advances rest on null results, not just Michelson and Morley. Those references are actually classics, though. I am keenly aware that is is next to impossible to publish them.

  35. josem mo says:


    This is classic:


    The work of Nobel-winning geneticist, Barbara McClintock. When she started, the scientific community believed that DNA was rock-solid, and changed very slowly over time. But that was wrong. McClintock performed a series of experiments that seemed to show that genes are incredibly plastic. They can move around and even hop between organisms. Because her results challenged the accepted dogma and no one believed that DNA was so malleable, McClintock’s results were considered to be wrong. It wasn’t until years later that she was able to prove her experiments had worked. Today, McClintock’s “negative results” are considered to be classic experiments in the history of biology.


    http://acfnewsource.org.s60463.gridserver.com/science/negative_results.html

  36. Rajini Rao says:


    Thanks for that reminder, jose montarig ! Barbara McClintock was a very special scientist.


  37. thanq rajini for this post


  38. I hate to point out the obvious, but the true data interpretation is clearly a ‘?’ with two dots, lying on its side at 50 degrees. It thus leaves the null hypothesis dangling at p=0.05 exactly. => More research is needed.

  39. Rajini Rao says:


    Jyoti Dahiya , LOL, I see it now! 🙂

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