The passages below are from a WSJ summary of an October 2007 article in Wired:
(p. B7) Scientists shouldn’t be so quick to squelch the results of failed experiments, Wired Deputy Editor Thomas Goetz says.
Even if data don’t deliver hoped-for results, they still have uses. This is especially the case today, when some compelling discoveries have come from meta-studies, in which statisticians sift the data of several papers to reach conclusions. “Your dead end may be another scientist’s missing link, the elusive chunk of data they needed,” Mr. Goetz says. Making such data available might one day fuel advances in genetics, neuroscience and biotechnology, he contends.
For the full summary, see:
“The Informed Reader; Science; Researchers’ ‘Dark Data’ Should Be Brought to Light.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., Oct. 4, 2007): B7.