BookHistory of Science

Report Evidence

For a paper or a book, the second section reviews the literature. That tells what is known about the subject, particularly in the form of evidence. The evidence most valuable is objective and permits confirmation. Opinions and speculations may explain evidence but may not substitute for the requirement of objective evidence. Opinions and speculations are subjective, not objective.
Another aim of the second section is to permit the reader to confirm the evidence and the results. If a reader follows the protocol, then a confirmation should result and a verification of the new contribution of the report. That should ease the task of building on the results and ultimately of pushing back the frontiers of science. If protocols are so peculiar that confirmation and extension are discouraged or made virtually impossible for those who follow, then the ultimate purpose of the research is obviated. The researcher has the responsibility of facilitating future research to continue the advancement of science.