# What is the bias that makes researchers prefer values already published?

Some time ago I read that values (for a given process or associated to a certain physical phenomena) that have already been published, are more likely to be published in the future; compared to new values that differ substantially from them.

Is this true or is my memory failing me and I read something completely different? Does this "publication bias" have a formal name? Is there some meta-study that could be referenced?

I can't find a citation for it, but Charlie Poole has called this phenomena "Directional publication bias" - there's a publication bias that's toward a particular finding (in this case, what's already published) that's beyond just what you'd expect to see with the usual significant/non-significant result publication bias.

You may also be interested in some of the following which discuss various features of selective reporting and citation distortions.

@article{greenberg09,
author = {Greenberg, S A},
title = {How citation distortions create unfounded authority:
analysis of a citation network},
journal = {British Medical Journal},
year = {2009},
volume = {339},
number = {b2680},
keywords = {reporting of research, bibliometrics}
}
@ARTICLE{melander03,
author = {Melander, H and Ahlqvist-Rastad, J and Meijer, G and Beermann, B},
year = 2003,
title = {Evidence b(i)ased medicine - selective reporting from studies
sponsored by pharmaceutical industry: review of studies in new drug
applications},
journal = {British Medical Journal},
volume = 326,
pages = {1171--1173},
keywords = {systematic overviews, integrity}
}
@article{cope10,
author = {Cope, M B and Allison, D B},
title = {White hat bias: examples of its presence in obesity research
and a call for renewed commitment to faithfulness in research
reporting},
journal = {International Journal of Obesity},
year = {2010},
volume = {34},
pages = {84--88},
keywords = {reporting of research, integrity}
}


Hope those are interesting.