I was recently going through an article (which I was told is fundamental in the area of my new project) published in a respectable medical journal. In short, the paper is about the similarities between a particular sub-type of tumor cells versus a particular type of stem cells in the body, then they go on to investigate what that similarity might indicate.
Barely two pages in and I realize that the authors omit what I consider to be critical data when motivating the use of two particular proteins as markers in establishing their fundamental assumption, that their immunohistochemistry findings are representative of the reality and that their model is valid:
Accordingly, we screened all known ..... markers against our ..... data to determine which, if any, decrease with differentiation (data not shown). Of all the potential ... markers, we found that X and Y are the best candidates, and they were therefore used in this study.
Now it might not be a big deal to some but I find it important to see that omitted data, since:
I am not that informed in that particular type of biology
Seeing that their "real" findings are built on the results of the aforementioned screening, the validity of their research is practically depending on the decision of using those two markers.
Which brings me to my question: Are there any cases where not showing "critical" data in such a manner is acceptable or common? I know that some journals do not accept "data not shown", but obviously it does happen in better journals as well...