Underreporting of scientific knowledge: a theme for reflection

José Eymard Homem Pittella
J. Bras. Patol. Med. Lab. 2015;51(4):210-211


The public records of knowledge is usually performed by full papers in scientific journals, because they are the center for communication system in science and the most highly regarded and comprehensive means of dissemination of scientific knowledge. Published articles also allow the institutionalized control of knowledge, since the publication only occurs after a peer review process. In addition, after the publication of the article, a new arbitration by peers initiates, much more boarder, consistent and definitive, that is that performed by the scientific community, called post-publication peer review. If the researcher’s contribution has been relevant, it will survive and its incorporation in the scientific literature will be expanded, through the citation by other authors(1).

One issue that has been the subject of increasing study is the underreporting of scientific knowledge, also referred to as invisible scientific production(2), defined as the non-publication of full papers of completed research projects, even after they have been presented and published as abstracts at scientific congresses. Approximately 46% to 52% of research projects involving clinical trials approved by the Research Ethics Committee in different institutions of different countries are not published as complete articles after they have been completed(3, 4). The factors responsible for higher publication rates were presence of positive or statistically significant results, institution status, international collaboration, large samples, and project financing.Read more..