The File Drawer Problem

The "file drawer problem" (a term coined in 1979 by Robert Rosenthal, a member of our Advisory Board) refers to the bias introduced into the scientific literature by selective publication--chiefly by a tendency to publish positive results but not to publish negative or nonconfirmatory results. Awareness and concern about the file drawer problem seem to be growing explosively at the current time (early 2012). The pages below provide a fairly comprehensive list of recent discussions of this problem organized into different categories of publications--ranging from popular articles about the extent of the problem in many fields, to technical articles asking how failures to reject the null hypothesis should be analyzed and presented. We hope these pages will be useful to those wanting to learn more about the broad scope of contemporary thought on this problem across the scientific landscape. If you are aware of other useful publications or webpages that we have omitted, please visit the Contact Us page and send us a link so that we can make these pages more comprehensive and useful.