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Questions tagged [negative-results]

For questions about scientific work that is or seems to be a dead end.

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24 votes
4 answers
5k views

How to deal with an advisor that refuses to accept my evidence for a negative result?

I am in what should be the final year of my PhD. Essentially, the problem is as follows: The goal of my thesis is to reduce the uncertainties in a study performed by a previous PhD student. I have ...
Framazu's user avatar
  • 343
1 vote
3 answers
441 views

Is it possible to publish bad data from an accidently failed experiment?

We performed a very complicated measurement in the high-energy physics field and now as a PhD, I am doing the data analysis. The setup has two detectors, one of which broke. Therefore, we only have ...
Zen's user avatar
  • 615
-1 votes
1 answer
190 views

Can i submit paper that result's not expected?

my results were not expected which was control was lower than treatment and it's supposed to be lower than control according to other papers. I used the data and finished the paper and was trying to ...
jane's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
94 views

Discussing the technical errors with referencing to unofficial experience

I would like to present and discuss the technical issues of used software, which crippled/damaged some of my final data during the data processing (Still I have a sufficient amount of data for the ...
Luckasino's user avatar
  • 137
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

Misleading Results of Cited Paper

We have developed a novel algorithm, published a paper about it, then after a few months, we "copied" our implementation to a very popular opensource library. A few months after, a paper was ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 333
1 vote
1 answer
163 views

Explaining a bad exam result at my annual review

As I posted yesterday, I've just taken an exam and failed (quite badly might I add). The course was externally hosted as part of my PhD training in my first year so it won't look very good on my ...
Roberto_1986's user avatar
  • 1,161
1 vote
1 answer
789 views

Should I go ahead with presenting incomplete results and partially unverified conclusions in conference?

I have a conference talk (did not submit proceedings) in two days and last night I was making the presentation and I came across a major error in my conclusions of the work. I am currently writing the ...
troubledme's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Reporting negative results/failure of experiments in thesis/papers

During the various sub-projects of my PhD (physics) we encountered several difficulties (as it is common, I assume) both in technical and in physical nature which we had to solve. Moreover, some ...
arc_lupus's user avatar
  • 523
25 votes
3 answers
12k views

My undergraduate thesis project is a failure and I don't know what to do [closed]

So I'm writing my undergraduate thesis and I have written around 80% of it. My project was to develop a device to use in the lab, but my first prototype doesn't work at all and I don't know if I ...
asm821's user avatar
  • 359
2 votes
2 answers
250 views

Should I still submit if my final results are not good?

Firstly, I am aware of this question, but: 1) there is no accepted answer there and 2) my situation is not as good as the OP's in that question. Being new to research, I have always thought it is ...
Rafs's user avatar
  • 123
4 votes
4 answers
854 views

Professor wants to submit paper, but no real results

I am an undergraduate student who is working on some research projects applying machine learning to medical problems at a small, primarily-undergraduate college. In one of these projects, a Master’s ...
ealirgu's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
4 answers
1k views

Bad data - how to move on successfully

I work in an interdisciplinary field. My input is not generated by myself, but by talented people that I trust and that trust me to analyse their data and generate fascinating insights. But here I am,...
skymningen's user avatar
  • 1,378
71 votes
8 answers
18k views

How honest should I be in disclosing not-so-exciting results?

I'm a sociology undegrad working on an essay for a methods class. I'm also planning on submitting it as a sample for my application to grad school. I don't want to be too specific, but I believe that ...
undergrad_dilemma's user avatar
60 votes
11 answers
14k views

Can I publish a paper which 1) proposes an idea and 2) proves that the idea doesn't work?

I wonder if is it okay for a researcher to suggest a new technique in a field of research and prove that this new suggested technique is a bad suggestion and gives no or negative gain and publish his ...
Ariyan's user avatar
  • 701
10 votes
2 answers
5k views

How can I pass my PhD thesis defense when nothing has been successful?

For reasons I had very little influence on, most of the projects I participated in over the course of my PhD did not produce reasonable results. I managed to get involved in small side projects and ...
skymningen's user avatar
  • 1,378
18 votes
5 answers
15k views

Got stuck with overambitious master thesis

I feel that I can get into big trouble very soon. I have been working on my master's thesis in computer science area for about 3 months(out of 6) and still haven't achieved any meaningful result. ...
ghj123's user avatar
  • 183
2 votes
0 answers
90 views

I have experience in one area but I don't have a good relation with my supervisor. How can I show this experience when applying for a PhD?

I have this particular situation, where I started one thesis during my master's about X topic (which I love). I was asked to wait around 4 months while the base code was ready to work, but when the ...
Muthahu6's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
4k views

MSc. Eng. thesis - Failed experiment - How to put it in the thesis?

I'm currently writing a thesis. I'm simulating a problem using CFD model. The model has been validated by using it to investigate similar problem with known results. The model vs. experimental results ...
Bjartmar's user avatar
  • 131
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Found better technique just before publishing old, but still good technique – can the old one still be published?

In our lab, we hypothesized that a technique T1 should be able to solve some problem with high performance. As per our hypothesis, we got an excellent result. We started writing a short paper to be ...
Coder's user avatar
  • 12.8k
4 votes
1 answer
992 views

Are "how", "why" or "is it possible" good for a research question?

I am working on Informatics and I am trying to formulate a research question. The thing is I read a lot of examples where the research question has a lot in common with hypotheses, where 2 ...
Tracy Dover's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

When should an author disclaim historical knowledge?

Gilbert Sheldon was born at Ashbourne in Derbyshire on July 19, 1598. Very little is known of his family background. It drives me crazy to read about some historical figure that "not much is known of ...
user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
467 views

How to include unfruitful attempts to use software that were not explored much?

I wasted spent like a month or so trying to get two software libraries to work. They partly worked, but at some point produced only unplausible results. That might have very well been my fault. The ...
clueless's user avatar
  • 547
48 votes
3 answers
10k views

My PhD research has a negative outcome -- how can I still graduate with it?

A former PhD student at our lab had this idea for an algorithm for solving an engineering problem that has many well known solutions. The student developed preliminary results but ended up applying ...
somerandomdude's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

My results are different from my original poster title now. How I should prepare the poster?

I am a graduate student in an interdisciplinary psychological field. With the help of a paper I have read today, I have realized that a result of mine is now invalid: I missed a covariate in my ...
profiterol's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

What to do when you find out your research result is wrong because it's based on wrong methods/results, after years of works?

This is not my current situation. However I've heard similar stories from different people (along with my own past experience) a few times. Therefore I want to ask a general question(the title). For ...
user avatar
41 votes
9 answers
11k views

What to do when research leads to poor results?

I am an MSc graduate and work as an independent researcher. I spent 10 months on a paper. I wrote many scripts in Matlab to implement four other comparative methods as well as a new method that my MSc ...
Masan's user avatar
  • 925
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Refuting a hypothesis in a dissertation

I am writing my dissertation, and things came out somewhat different to what I had thought three years ago. Back then, I had three hypotheses. Two turned out to be true. The third, last and flimsiest, ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
568 views

Where can I publish failed research directions?

Suppose I work on a difficult open problem, try several directions that haven't been tried before, work for several weeks on these directions, but finally reach a dead end. Is there a way I can ...
Erel Segal-Halevi's user avatar
70 votes
4 answers
21k views

What to do when you spend several months working on an idea that fails in a masters thesis?

How shall a masters student deal with the complete failure to meet the expected results when working on a master's thesis? For example, in the field of machine learning a masters student might spend ...
Magellanea's user avatar
42 votes
7 answers
11k views

Is a research thesis (report) with zero contribution to human knowledge acceptable?

An alternate title could be "Do we award a PhD for what the student became or for what he produced?". More precisely, if a research thesis report does not advance human knowledge, yet still shows that ...
J..y B..y's user avatar
  • 2,758
24 votes
7 answers
9k views

What to do with negative research outcomes (results) of PhD research experiment?

It is an expectation that the PhD would make an original contribution and/or advance knowledge in a given field. I understand this is a universal assumption for this level of study across all ...
Javeer Baker's user avatar
  • 5,507
164 votes
8 answers
14k views

Why don't researchers publish failed experiments?

The following might be a slight generalization for all fields but something I've noticed especially in the field of Scientific Computing: Why don't people publish failures? I mean, if they tried some ...
user avatar