Literature-based Resurrection of Neglected Medical Discoveries

Don R. Swanson


It is possible to find in the medical literature many articles that have been neglected or ignored, in some cases for many years, but which are worth bringing to light because they report unusual findings that may be of current scientific interest. Resurrecting previously published but neglected hypotheses that have merit might be overlooked because it would seem to lack the novelty of "discovery" -- but the potential value of so doing is hardly arguable. Finding neglected hypotheses may be not only of great practical value, but also affords the opportunity to study the structure of such hypotheses in the hope of illuminating the more general problem of hypothesis generation.

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