The goal of the unusual award is to incentivize researchers to publish negative findings to demonstrate that all data holds value for the scientific process.
This year, after an extensive review, the GPDF is pleased to report that the Best Negative Data Prize award will be presented to Dr. Jeremy Bailoo, PhD, for the following paper:
Bailoo, J (2018) Evaluation of the Effects of Space Allowance on Measures of Animal Welfare in Laboratory Mice. Nature.com Scientific Reports.
“I’ve always advocated for publishing negative results and many of my experimental papers reveal full or partially failed replication attempts. In my opinion, the factors determining the publication of findings should largely pertain to the experimental study design. After all, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in biomedical research and awards such as this one contribute to moving transformational science forward,” says Jeremy Bailoo PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University, USA.
First launched in 2017, the Best Negative Data Prize is just one of the many initiatives of the GPDF to address modern issues in preclinical research, with the goal of enhancing data utility for clinical research and development (R&D). The GPDF has emerged as an important voice in the global effort to counteract poor preclinical research reproducibility, highlighting the contributing issues and developing solutions to minimize its impact. The challenges of publishing negative data are just one of the factors that contribute to poor reproducibility. The Best Negative Data Prize aims to initiate a paradigm shift in which negative data is valued according to the same standards as positive data.
According to Magali Haas, MD, PhD, CEO of CVB and Co-Chair of the GPDF, “Motivating scientific researchers to adjust their perspectives on negative data and to regard these results as meaningful as positive data will accelerate advancements. Otherwise, researchers are only looking at one half of the research equation. By making null findings from well-designed sufficiently powered studies available, the research community will be better equipped to interpret the body of evidence supporting an outcome, optimize limited-resources and increase the likelihood of scientific progress. CVB is proud to sponsor the Negative Data Prize as it aligns with our vision of supporting robust, reproducible research to advance brain health.”
The award itself, presented on September 14, from 15:30 to 15:50 CEST at the 33rd ECNP Congress Virtual, is a monetary prize of 10,000 (ten thousand) Euro, made available through the generous sponsorship of Cohen Veterans Bioscience. The prize will be awarded by Dr. Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, a member of the GPDF Steering Committee and Prize Review Committee.
Each submission for the Best Negative Data Prize was rigorously evaluated by a Prize Review Committee, comprised of members of the GPDF Steering Committee and with the support of leading experts from the scientific community and ECNP leadership. The multi-step review process evaluated each submission based on the data analysis and statistics, adherence to research rigor standards, a technical review of the materials and methods used in the study, and a field-specific scientific review by two subject matter experts, in accordance with recommendations developed by GPDF experts (2019).
“Studies with positive results are several times more likely to be published than those that do not result in a positive result. Consequently, these important data are lost to science and there is potential for other researchers to unintentionally duplicate literature results. A study by Freedman and colleagues (2015) estimates that this costs the US economy alone, $28bn each year – similar in scale to the total $35bn National Institute of Health annual budget**,” asserts Dr Thomas Steckler (Co-Chair of the GDPF Steering Committee, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV).
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