Instructions for Reviewers
Registered Reports are a form of empirical article in which the methods and proposed analyses are pre-registered and reviewed prior to research being conducted. This format of article seeks to neutralise a variety of inappropriate research practices, including inadequate statistical power, selective reporting of results, and publication bias.
The review process for Registered Reports is divided into two stages. In Stage 1, reviewers assess study proposals before data is collected. In Stage 2, reviewers consider the full study, including results and interpretation.
Stage 1 manuscripts will include only an Introduction, Methods (including proposed analyses), and Pilot Data (where applicable). In considering papers at Stage 1, reviewers will be asked to assess:
- The logic, rationale, and plausibility of the proposed hypotheses.
- The soundness and feasibility of the methodology and analysis pipeline (including statistical power analysis where appropriate).
- Whether the clarity and degree of methodological detail is sufficient to exactly replicate the proposed experimental procedures and analysis pipeline.
- Whether the authors provide a sufficiently clear and detailed description of the methods to prevent undisclosed flexibility in the experimental procedures or analysis pipeline.
- Whether the authors have pre-specified sufficient analyses for ensuring that the results obtained can test the stated hypotheses.
Following Stage 1 peer review, manuscripts will be accepted, offered the opportunity to revise, or rejected outright. Manuscripts that pass peer review will be issued an in-principle acceptance (IPA), indicating that the article will be published pending successful completion of the study according to the exact methods and analytic procedures outlined, as well as a defensible and evidence-bound interpretation of the results.
Following completion of the study, authors will complete the manuscript, including Results and Discussion sections. These Stage 2 manuscripts will more closely resemble a regular article format. The manuscript will then be returned to the reviewers, who will be asked to appraise:
- Whether the data are able to test the authors’ proposed hypotheses by satisfying the approved outcome-neutral conditions (such as quality checks, positive controls.
- Whether the Introduction, rationale and stated hypotheses are the same as the approved Stage 1 submission (required).
- Whether the authors adhered precisely to the registered experimental procedures.
- Whether any unregistered post hoc analyses added by the authors are justified, methodologically sound, and informative.
- Whether the authors’ conclusions are justified given the data.
Please note that editorial decisions will not be based on the perceived importance, novelty, or surprise of the results.
Reviews will be shared publicly after publication of the manuscript. Reviewers are known to authors and included on the final publication by default, but reviewers may request that their identity is kept confidential by contacting the editors. These requests will always be honored by the editors.