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Thread: Searching for unpublished studies

  1. #1 Searching for unpublished studies 
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    Anyone know of a good database or two to search for unpublished studies in biological and medical fields?

    At the moment its a bit hit and miss using various library/uni catalogues. Someone should make a centralised database of unpublished stuff (hoping someone has and i just don't know about it). I'm coming to the conclusion its impossible to systematically search for unpublished studies, despite what the librarians try to tell me.


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  3. #2 Re: Searching for unpublished studies 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Anyone know of a good database or two to search for unpublished studies in biological and medical fields?

    At the moment its a bit hit and miss using various library/uni catalogues. Someone should make a centralised database of unpublished stuff (hoping someone has and i just don't know about it). I'm coming to the conclusion its impossible to systematically search for unpublished studies, despite what the librarians try to tell me.
    If you can find them, then they're not unpublished... Do you mean registered clinical trials that haven't had their results published or something like that?


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  4. #3  
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    Do you mean something like Nature Precedings? They publish (pre-print) papers and preliminary results - some of which is ultimately not published. That's all I can think of that comes closest to what you are perhaps describing.
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  5. #4  
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    Yeah, research of any kind that for one reason or another doesn't get published in peer reviewed journals and so doesn't end up logged in electronic search databases. Common reasons are student research (MSc/PhD) that students don't pursue to publication, poor methodologies rejected at peer review and (most important) negative, and so 'boring', research findings rejected at editing (publication bias).

    I'm trying to get over publication bias for a couple of systematic reviews i'm doing. It's particularly pertinent to one of the studies which is essentially social science which has a bad reputation for this kinda thing. If i can't find a systematic way to retrieve any unpublished stuff i'll just have to use funnel plots like everyone else to demonstrate whether publication bias exists or not.

    Bit surprised you guys haven't heard of it before - thought it would be a problem for most sciences but maybe it's particular to medical research?
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    There is a medical-orientated journal that specialises in negative results (an area that in my view receives far too little attention since there is clearly a bias towards positive results): Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine. Don't know how useful you'd find it though. There are a few others I believe.
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  7. #6  
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    I'll check it properly tomorrow but that looks awesome, though still published literature - thanks Zwirko. Impact factor only 1.47 - guess that's why editors don't like publishing negative results. Keep 'em coming.
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  8. #7 Re: Searching for unpublished studies 
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    There are another journals publishing negative results (like The All Results Journals) but they don't solve you the problem of unpublished results (the articles are already published, right?
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