Scientific Hypotheses: Writing, Promoting, and Predicting Implications

J Korean Med Sci. 2019 Nov 25;34(45):e300. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2019.34.e300.


Scientific hypotheses are essential for progress in rapidly developing academic disciplines. Proposing new ideas and hypotheses require thorough analyses of evidence-based data and predictions of the implications. One of the main concerns relates to the ethical implications of the generated hypotheses. The authors may need to outline potential benefits and limitations of their suggestions and target widely visible publication outlets to ignite discussion by experts and start testing the hypotheses. Not many publication outlets are currently welcoming hypotheses and unconventional ideas that may open gates to criticism and conservative remarks. A few scholarly journals guide the authors on how to structure hypotheses. Reflecting on general and specific issues around the subject matter is often recommended for drafting a well-structured hypothesis article. An analysis of influential hypotheses, presented in this article, particularly Strachan's hygiene hypothesis with global implications in the field of immunology and allergy, points to the need for properly interpreting and testing new suggestions. Envisaging the ethical implications of the hypotheses should be considered both by authors and journal editors during the writing and publishing process.

Keywords: Bibliographic Databases; Hypothesis; Impact; Peer Review; Research Ethics; Writing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Peer Review, Research* / ethics
  • Publishing* / ethics
  • Social Media