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Opening the Door to Registered Reports: Census of Journals Publishing Registered Reports (2013-2020)

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.24404
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Abstract

Registered reports are a new publication workflow where the decision to publish is made prior to data collection and analysis and thus cannot be dependent on the outcome of the study. An increasing number of journals have adopted this new mechanism, but previous research suggests that submission rates are still relatively low. We conducted a census of journals publishing registered reports (N = 278) using independent coders to collect information from submission guidelines, with the goal of documenting journals’ early adoption of registered reports. Our results show that the majority of journals adopting registered reports are in psychology, and it typically takes about a year to publish the first registered report after adopting. Still, many journals have not published their first registered report. There is high variability in impact of journals adopting registered reports. Many journals do not include concrete information about policies that address concerns about registered reports (e.g., exploratory analysis); however, those that do typically allow these practices with some restrictions. Additionally, other open science practices are commonly encouraged or required as part of the registered report process, especially open data and materials. Overall, many journals did not include many of the fields coded by the research team, which could be a barrier to submission for some authors. Though the majority of journals allow authors to be anonymous during the review process, a sizable portion do not, which could also be a barrier to submission. We conclude with future directions and implications for authors of registered reports, journals that have already adopted registered reports, and journals that may consider adopting registered reports in the future.

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