Digital Humanities Initiative

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Fwd: Send us your null results

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    Matthew K. Gold
    Participant

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Journal of Cultural Analytics <andrew.piper@mcgill.ca>
    Date: Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 12:59 PM
    Subject: Send us your null results
    To: MGOLD@gc.cuny.edu

    Cultural Analytics wants to address the replication crisis. Here’s how.

    *Send us your null results*

    A growing number of voices are being raised about the over-production of
    “significant” results in academic publishing. It is part of a larger
    “replication crisis” across the academy. Here is our first step in trying
    to do something about it.

    There is enormous pressure in the field to report something positive —
    that a method “worked” or “shows” something. One of the enduring critiques
    of new computational methods is that they “don’t show us anything we didn’t
    already know.” While many would disagree (rightly pointing to positive
    examples of new knowledge) or see this as a classic case of “hindsight
    bias,” it is actually true that in most cases these methods don’t show us
    anything at all. It’s just that you don’t hear about those cases.

    It’s time to change that culture. Why? Because not only does it not show
    the whole picture. It also distorts the research process in favour of
    finding positive results.

    We want to start by encouraging submission of pieces that don’t show
    positive results, however broadly defined.

    So what do we mean by “null results”? Read more to find out.

    Send us your null results

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