Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [negative-results]

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

68
votes
8answers
16k 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 ...
61
votes
11answers
12k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
940 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
6k 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. ...
2
votes
0answers
73 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
674 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
317 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
363 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 ...
42
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
481 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
829 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 ...
40
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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, ...
11
votes
1answer
437 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 ...
51
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
36
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
24
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
163
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...