Thursday, December 3, 2015

To advance their careers, researchers need to publish results, and those that support a compelling narrative have a greater chance of success. This is because scientists and journal reviewers, like most human beings, enjoy game-changing stories with “plot, structure, logic, drama and where hopefully the good prevails,” Ioannidis wrote in an email to ScienceInsider. “Good,” particularly for high-impact journals, generally means novel, positive results from several lines of investigation that converge on a single hypothesis. Yet things rarely unfold this way. Research is hard, and biology is complex. Clean narratives tend to mislead by oversimplifying complicated phenomena, Ioannidis says. “Researchers are forced to build stories that are often speculative fairy tales.”
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