Null Effects and Publication Bias in Learning Disabilities
What We Do
To provide an outlet for studies with null findings in the learning disabilities literature base, CASPER members Bill Therrien and Bryan Cook guest edited a 2018 special issue of Learning Disabilities Research and Practice featuring three high-quality studies on reading for students with and at risk for learning disabilities that produced null findings. The publisher has kindly provided open access to articles in this special issue.
Introduction to Special Issue: Null Effects and Publication Bias in Learning Disabilities Research
The importance of publishing studies with null findings to the scientific enterprise is garnering attention in social science at large and education in particular. In this article, we first define null findings and publication bias as they relate to group and single‐subject instructional intervention research. We then explore the prevalence of instructional intervention studies that report null findings in the learning disabilities literature. Overall, we found that few studies have been published in learning disability journals that reported all null results. However, a significant number of group studies reported mixed findings (i.e., at least one, but not all, outcome measures were not statistically significant). Next, we summarize the experimental studies that comprise this special issue on null findings. Last, we speculate regarding strategies that might be enacted to increase the publication of studies with null findings in the learning disabilities field.