Serena Tan
Serena Tan
Senior Editor, Publishing Development, Wiley

Did you attend Wiley’s recent webinar about Registered Reports during Peer Review Week and want to share it with your colleagues? Were you so busy checking out all the other  activities taking place during Peer Review Week 2018 that you were unable to attend our webinar but wish you could have?  Well, you're in luck as we've recorded it and made it available to you here on our Wiley Author Webinars site!

 

Wiley first began a pilot focused on Registered Reports earlier this year, in spring 2018.  Since then, 37 journals have begun or are getting set-up to offer authors the option of publishing a Registered Report and we wanted to hear from the journals and societies that have joined us in this initiative to learn about their experiences thus far.  So, we invited Nidhi Bansal (Editor-in-Chief, Cancer Reports), Daryl O’Connor (Chair, British Psychological Society Research Board), and Eric Prager (Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Neuroscience Research) to share some of their initial thoughts with us here and then we dug deeper and fielded questions from the research community in our webinar “Why Publish a Registered Report”. In total, there were 350 registrants representing 72 countries and 31 research disciplines!

 

The Registered Report model supports more inclusive research publishing, aligning well with this year’s theme for Peer Review Week of “Diversity and Inclusion”, and is an innovative model of peer review that reduces publication bias and improves the reproducibility of published studies.  It does this by shifting the emphasis of peer review onto validation of the research methodology and design, rather than the perceived impact or novelty of the results. With our panelists, we discussed how peer review of Registered Reports works, and the opportunities and benefits of the Registered Reports model that motivated our panelists to adopt it. We delved into the challenges and caveats and another hot topic was how all of the above might vary across different research communities. The audience asked lots of great questions and our panelists were eager to engage.

 

In addition to our webinar panelists, we’ve also received great feedback from authors and editors of other journals involved in this pilot, from a variety of different research communities.  Read about Matthias Mittner’s experience with publishing a Registered Report at the European Journal of Neurology and Christian Leuz’s experience Registered Reports as the theme for a conference and special issue for the Journal of Accounting Research.  We also asked editors why they wanted to offer Registered Reports at their journals and what role they might play in supporting more inclusive research publishing. Below, we share some of their perspectives from the editors of Stress and Health, Ecology and Evolution, and Language Learning

To find out more about Registered Reports and the journals that offer them, check out this list curated by the Center for Open Science and don’t forget to check out the recording of our webinar “Why Publish a Registered Report”!

 

Tahira Probst, Editor-in-Chief, Stress and Health

Scholars and academicians seek to produce cuttingedge research that contributes to science and knowledge. Unfortunately, the intense pressure that accompanies this goal can actually erode the quality and rigor that should be at the heart of science. We launched our Registered Reports Initiative to maintain our focus on rigorous high-quality research while simultaneously circumventing some of the pitfalls of traditionally published research, such as publication bias against null findings and replication research. While the Registered Reports mechanism has been used in fields such as medicine, biology, and neuroscience, this publishing mechanism is only beginning to emerge within many of the disciplinary fields that contribute to Stress and Health, including psychology, organizational behavior, and occupational health. By leading the way, we hope to contribute toward the ultimate goal of inclusive and open science.  

 

Estimates suggest over half of funded research projects fail to result in published findings. This is a serious waste of scarce research funding, as well as the time and talent devoted to those projects.  While many reasons for this likely exist, the pressure to publish statistically significant findings seriously undermines our ability to collectively learn from prior research (including null findings). Registered Reports can help address this by promoting more inclusive research publishing, since submissions are evaluated solely on the quality and merit of the research idea and proposed methodology, rather than the statistical significance of the eventual findings.

 

Allen Moore, Editor-in-Chief, Ecology and Evolution

We live in an age of information, but the quality of information is variable. Science is not immune to the growing suspicion that information that is provided may be selective or that there may be unintended (or even intended) biases in what is available. Scientists are increasingly seen as working toward a personal agenda rather than working towards the public good.

In academia, this is a critical problem as we are dependent on the public, we work for the public good, and we are increasing public knowledge. We can improve confidence in our work by transparency - rather than hiding the process by which we reach conclusions, open the curtain.

Registered reports are an outstanding way to provide transparency. We can also educate on the process. Finally, the added work is actually minimal, as the best research is designed before it is undertaken, not during or after.

 

Emma Marsden and Kara Morgan-Short, Associate Editors, Language Learning

We give three reasons why Language Learning introduced Registered Reports. 1) To incentivize replication research, as our systematic review found that only about 1 in 400 published articles in our field are replication studies. Registered Reports support would-be replicators via ‘In Principle Acceptance’. 2) Our review also illustrated the need to share materials and data to improve the amount and systematicity of replication research. More materials and data would become available through the registration aspect of Registered Reports. 3) As Associate Editors, we notice that many reviewers seek clarification about methods – and sometimes request changes that are impossible to address retrospectively. Registered Reports allow for methodological modification through peer review before methods are “locked in”.

 

Registered Reports should result in greater inclusiveness of researchers as they provide the opportunity to receive feedback on research design before data collection. This aspect of Registered Reports can support the development of more valid research designs by individuals in resource-poor positions, where access to feedback from colleagues and from conference attendance may be limited. Improved research designs would enhance these researchers’ ability to publish in high-visibility journals. Registered Reports may also be more inclusive theoretically and methodologically. This is because ‘minority’ or ‘controversial’ approaches are given more of a chance to reach publication as IPA prevents theorists from ‘rejecting’ a manuscript when data don’t align with their own standpoint.

 

Thank you to our webinar panellists, Nidhi, Eric, and Daryl. Thank you also to Tahira, Alan, Emma and Kara for sharing your extra comments for this post. And if you came to our webinar, or watched it afterwards, then thank you, too!

 

Here is a list of journals curated by the Center for Open Science that offer researchers Registered Reports.

 

Wiley has a Registered Reports toolkit to help launch Registered Reports. Please speak with your publisher so together we can make this option available for researchers in your communities. Journals published by Wiley that offer now (or will soon offer) researchers the option to submit a Registered Report include:

 

Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Brain and Behavior

British Journal of Clinical Psychology

British Journal of Developmental Psychology

British Journal of Educational Psychology

British Journal of Health Psychology

British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology

British Journal of Psychology

British Journal of Social Psychology

Cancer Medicine

Cancer Reports

Clinical Endocrinology

Developmental Science

Ecology and Evolution

Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

European Journal of Neuroscience

European Journal of Personality

Immunity, Inflammation and Disease

Infancy

Journal of Accounting Research

Journal of Clinical Nursing

Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

Journal of Neuropsychology

Journal of Neuroscience Research

Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science

Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing

Journal of Research in Reading

Language Learning

Legal and Criminological Psychology

Mind, Brain and Education

Psycho Oncology

Psychology and Marketing

Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

Stress and Health