« There have been increasing demands for more transparency in the reporting of research findings, which has built up pressure on all those involved in making and testing potential new drugs, biologics and medical devices. The lack of systematic reporting of both positive and negative results and the resulting ‘publication bias’ is not only pertinent to research carried out by industry: it is also being hotly debated throughout academia, because our success in discovering new medicines is reliant on a more complete understanding of the underpinning science.
Publication bias has many causes. For example, most researchers and particularly commercial organisations are not keen to share negative and null findings because of the perceived impact on their reputation or the commercial value of their product. Many journals are also not keen to publish such findings because they are thought to be less newsworthy and may negatively affect their Impact Factor. In addition, there are inherent biases in the traditional anonymous prepublication peer review system. Here I argue for the importance and benefits of moving to an open science publishing approach, and detail what this means in practice (…) »