Q: Should I continue working on my manuscript if the research results are non-significant?

Detailed Question -

I am currently working on a research paper, however, the result is not substantial enough to be considered significant. Should I continue with the paper?

2 Answers to this question

There is a widespread notion among researchers that non-significant results are not important and therefore, difficult to publish. However, that is not the case. Non-significant results can be important to disprove an existing hypothesis or theory and substantiate negative findings. They are an important building block on which future studies may be based. True, most journals have bias in favor of novel and groundbreaking studies and do not prefer to publish non-significant and negative results. However, this trend is gradually shifting and many publishers today are more open towards such studies in the interests of science.


However, you should check if the sample size was actually calculated before the initiation of the study. If the sample size was not calculated, the results may not be very important. Also, the decision to continue with the paper will depend on whether there is a scope to add more data to your study. If yes, you can redo the statistical analysis to identify any significance. Nonetheless, non-significant results are important and it depends on the nature of the study, variables used, and the type of statistical tests you have applied.


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Answer: Thank you for this clarification. I appreciate it.