Indian Forum for Water Adroit

Reporting negative results to stimulate experimental hydrology

Pankaj Dey

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  • Institute : Indian Institute of Science
  • Programming language : MATLAB, R

Experimental work in hydrology is in decline. Based on a community survey, Blume et al. showed that the hydrological community associates experimental work with greater risks. One of the main issues with experimental work is the higher chance on negative results (defined here as when the expected or wanted result was not observed despite careful experimental design, planning and execution), resulting in a longer and more difficult publishing process. Reporting on negative results would avoid putting time and resources in repeating experiments that lead to negative results, and give experimental hydrologists the scientific recognition they deserve. With this commentary, we propose four potential solutions to encourage reporting on negative results, which might contribute to a stimulation of experimental hydrology.