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The problem of publication bias has long been discussed in research fields such as medicine. There is a consensus that publication bias is a reality and that solutions should be found to reduce it. In methodological computational research, including cancer informatics, publication bias may also be at work. The publication of negative research findings is certainly also a relevant issue, but has attracted very little attention to date. The present paper aims at providing a new formal framework to describe the notion of publication bias in the context of methodological computational research, facilitate and stimulate discussions on this topic, and increase awareness in the scientific community. We report an exemplary pilot study that aims at gaining experiences with the collection and analysis of information on unpublished research efforts with respect to publication bias, and we outline the encountered problems. Based on these experiences, we try to formalize the notion of publication bias.
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