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Awards for Negative Results, Replications

In an editorial, Nature lauds two research prizes that it says could indicate a shift in the scientific culture.

By calling out instances of well-crafted studies with negative results or of well-performed replication studies, Nature says these prizes "counteract risks" and "boost rewards" for such work.

With its €10,000 (USD$11,800) prize, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology aims to spotlight preclinical work in that space that ended up with negative results, while a $2,000 award from the Organization for Human Brain Mapping encourages quality replication studies in that field, whether successful or not, Nature adds.

"Research cannot be self-correcting when information is missing," Nature says. "The sorts of information most likely to stay in the shadows come from the negative results and replication studies that these two prizes put into the limelight."

It adds that prizes like these could help others appreciate what negative results and replication studies add to their scientific fields.

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