Research – Rehabilitating Failure

Which are the better scientists? Those who fail an experiment or the confirmation of their hypothesis or those, who deliver a shining success? The answer is of course ambiguous many bright breakthroughs being the result of multiple failures but also because failing a task generally triggers much greater learning processes than success. Anyway, it is clear that without a tangible result, scientists tend to get cited much less often and therefore have fewer possibilities to publish in a relevant journal. And because the quality of scientific work is pretty much defined by the number of such publications, there are really very strong incentives to tackle mainly questions or to carry out experiments that are successful and tend to get cited a lot and to carefully avoid those bearing an increased possibility of failure, no matter how interesting or important they might be. Now there as remedy to that problem. The newly established “Journal of Unsolved Questions” aims at publishing failures, unresolved questions and the like in order to support a change of mind in the scientific community. It follows high scientific standards and peer-reviews articles before publishing them but requires that the issue couldn’t be solved.
Brightnews! The unbalanced focus on success impedes important learning processes. Therefore the Journal of Unsolved Questions mission is very important and absolutely deserves to be noted on this page (and also to be linked and distributed by the well-disposed reader).
Source: Die Zeit

Science, Research, Journals, Publish, Failure, Mistakes

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