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Omitting experimental data is often considered a violation of scientific integrity. If we consider experimental inquiry as a questioning process, omitting data is seen to be merely an example of tentatively rejecting ('bracketing') some of nature's answers. Such bracketing is not only occasionally permissible; sometimes it is mandated by optimal interrogative strategies. When to omit data is therefore a strategic rather than ethical question. These points are illustrated by reference to Milikan's oil drop experiment.
Synthese © 2005 Springer