Evid Based Med 18:43 doi:10.1136/eb-2013-101221
  • Editorial

Accentuating the positive

  1. Richard Saitz
  1. Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston University & Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Richard Saitz
    Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston University and Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA; rsaitz{at}

You've got to accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative And latch on to the affirmative Don't mess with Mister In-Between Johnny Mercer Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive, 1944

Although he was probably not thinking about medical scientists, lyricist Johnny Mercer's words described what we may be observing in the medical literature. In F1000 Research, Senn1 raises doubt regarding the conclusions of observational studies that suggest major medical journals are not biased in favour of publishing positive studies. He points out that the observation of similar acceptance rates for manuscripts could even …