Just came across about Daryl J Bem's guide "Writing the Empirical Journal Article" from 2003. It's about writing psychology paper's but anyway quite known and hosted on many university websites for download (e.g. Yale).
Anyway I listened to a feature in the radio where they mentioned a quite questionable paragraph (I set it in italics) of this text, and I wonder what you think about. I also find it quite weird and would not do this, since it sounds as if he suggests to adapt the hypotheses according to the results and as you can do what you want to get a paper with "positive" results (which is also from a statistical point of view not correct)....
Here is the text:
"Which Article Should You Write?
There are two possible articles you can write: (i) the article you planned to write when you designed your study or (ii) the article that makes the most sense now that you have seen the results. They are rarely the same, and the correct answer is (ii).
The conventional view of the research process is that we first derive a set of hypotheses from a theory, design and conduct a study to test these hypotheses, analyze the data to see if they were confirmed or disconfirmed, and then chronicle this sequence of events in the journal article. If this is how our enterprise actually proceeded, we could write most of the article before we collected the data. We could write the introduction and method sections completely, prepare the results section in skeleton form, leaving spaces to be filled in by the specific numerical results, and have two possible discussion sections ready to go, one for positive results, the other for negative results.
But this is not how our enterprise actually proceeds. Psychology is more exciting than that, and the best journal articles are informed by the actual empirical findings from the opening sentence. Before writing your article, then, you need to Analyze Your Data...."
Edited by hobglobin, 04 May 2014 - 09:04 AM.
changed (a) and (b) to (i) and (ii) to avoid smilies