The Journal of Spurious Correlations Survey - Spring 2006

The Journal of Spurious Correlations: Qualitative and Quantitative Results in the Social Sciences seeks to provide a forum for researchers to publish findings that have helped forward their research and that may help others, but that do not clearly match the profile of the academic press. Many such ‘negative results’ represent potentially important contributions to knowledge in particular subfields. The journal does not limit its content only to cases of spurious correlation or the negative results of quantitative approaches to research. Some negative results may indeed reach a wider research community through established journals, but we suspect that for every publication many valuable findings worthy of wider debate never reach the academic readerships.

The journal ’s publication format encouraging short papers in the Negative Results series followed by commentary and accompanied by essays on broader methodological and disciplinary themes, is meant to accommodate such content. Findings that might otherwise have been severely abridged to fit into the crammed footnotes of a traditional paper now have their own deserved titles and more than an afterthought from readers. However, our goal is not to rid traditional journals of lengthy footnotes. JSpurC may become a unique venue amassing discrete evidence to fuel the debate over the limits of methods in the social sciences, first of all by compensating the negative effects of publication bias and the self-selection it generates among submissions to academic journals.

For further detail about the journal’s editorial policy, concept and current status, please refer to our website www.jspurc.org. Questions to the editorial team are welcome at survey@jspurc.org.

Survey Instructions

Thank you for taking a few moments to complete this online survey. JSpurC encourages authors to submit useful negative results that were otherwise self-selected out of academic journals. Your response to this survey will help us extend the scope of our search for negative results.

None of the survey questions is required, and responses may be submitted anonymously if preferred.
A review of the survey’s findings will be sent to all respondents who express their interest.

We encourage candid answers that reflect your first impression of the JSpurC agenda.



Survey Questions

QUESTION I.
Do you believe that a substantial proportion of research results goes unreported in your field?
Yes
No
Don't know




QUESTION II.
Do most unreported results remain out of print due to:
Publication bias
Priority given to results perceived as more publishable
Lack of interest from authors
Limited relevance to readers
Tradition

Other:





QUESTION III.
What is your primary understanding of a negative result in your main research area? Please specify:




QUESTION IV.
What kind of content would you primarily expect to find in a publication claiming to report negative results in the social sciences?
Empirical results that do not fit traditional theories, methods or assumptions
Criticism of established theory or methods
Results contradicting mainstream findings in your field
New questions open for further research
Incomplete research
Unimportant results not welcome by established journals
None of the above




QUESTION V.
What additional theme would be of greatest interest to you in a journal reporting negative results in the social sciences?
Rethinking the relationship between evidence and theory
Bridging the qualitative/quantitative divide
Comparing methods across disciplines, subfields or countries
Analyzing the research process
Disseminating datasets in your field of research that were previously unavailable
Reporting trial and error from research leading to published results

Others, please specify




QUESTION VI.
Does the concept of negative results apply only to quantitative methods?
Yes
No
Don't know




QUESTION VII.
Would qualitative research benefit from more systematic reporting of negative results?
Yes
No
Don't know




QUESTION VIII.
Are negative results generated in your research area sufficiently well-defined for systematic reporting?
Yes
No
Don't know



QUESTION IX.
In what form should negative results in your research area be published?

A publication mostly or entirely dedicated to negative results
An online forum and database reporting trial and error by researchers along with othe
A small section in your preferred methodology journal
No publication - informal communication is sufficient



QUESTION X.
To which type of publication would you be most likely to contribute the negative results of your own research?
A publication mostly or entirely dedicated to negative results
An online forum and database reporting trial and error by researchers along with othe
A small section in your preferred methodology journal
No publication - informal communication is sufficient




QUESTION XI.
Which would you be most likely to read and recommend to your library?
A publication mostly or entirely dedicated to negative results
An online forum and database reporting trial and error by researchers along with other types of negative results
A social science methodology journal also reporting negative results
None of the above




QUESTION XII.
In what context would published negative results be most useful to you?
As teaching material
As reference for research in general (both new and ongoing interests)
As a resource to inform the choice of new research topics
As an outlet for submitting unpublished research results
As a curiosity at most

Other:




QUESTION XIII.
Who is responsible to make datasets of published and unpublished studies available to other researchers?
Each researcher on his webpage
Journals in specific subfields
The major associations in each discipline
National research communities
A central data archive
Response to individual data requests from colleagues
All good ideas, but most researchers will not make their data available




QUESTION XIV.
Would you consult an online registry in which you could find abstracts/reports about all unpublished results?
Yes
No
Don't know




QUESTION XV.
Do you feel that students or academics in other areas of the social sciences than yours would benefit from access to currently unreported research results?
Yes
No
Don't know





QUESTION XVI.
Please include any further comments.





To allow us to make better use of your response, please tell us a bit about yourself:

What is your primary position?
Graduate student
Post-doc / Researcher
Lecturer / Instructor
Professor



What is your primary field and sub-fields of research and/or teaching (social science discipline)?



How would you describe your primary research and/or teaching methods or approach?



What academic journals do you refer to most frequently?

1.

2.

3.

4.



How has this survey reached you?


You may send this response anonymously. If you wish to disclose your identity, please fill in the following
form:

Name and Surname:

Institutional Affiliation:

Email address:


Would you be interested in receiving a summary of the survey's results?
Yes.
No.


Would you like to be included on the JSpurC mailing list?
Yes.
No.



Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


Survey created and managed using the Survey Builder, one of the tools from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media