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John Wiley and Sons Inc., (NYSE:JW-A) (NYSE:JW-B)., and the British Psychological Society (BPS), a registered charity responsible for the development, promotion and application of psychology for the public good, have partnered to enable researchers to publish Registered Reports. This new article type allows researchers the benefits of peer review of their methods and study design before they begin their work and offers in principle acceptance, irrespective of research outcome. This innovation in peer review is designed to improve the replicability and transparency of scientific research, and to minimize bias in the reporting of experimental results.
Professor Daryl O’Connor, Chair of the BPS Research Board stated, “The British Psychological Society is thrilled to be working closely with Wiley to launch Registered Reports in one of our flagship journals. The scientific publishing landscape is changing considerably and the Society is keen to embrace new methods and approaches to help improve psychological science nationally and internationally. This is an important step forward and represents the beginning of an exciting new phase for our portfolio of journals. The introduction of Registered Reports will increase the transparency of our science and allow peer review of research studies before the results are known. As a consequence, this will help reduce the use of questionable research practices while improving the quality of our research protocols, that will ultimately improve the robustness of our evidence base.”
Registered Reports allow authors to “register” their planned experiment and methodology. Authors get valuable feedback on methods during their experimental planning and design, ahead of beginning their experiment, ahead of data collection, and ahead of data analysis. Registered Reports are peer reviewed and offer in principle acceptance based upon the strength of the research question and methodology.
This important development will support authors to deliver the most rigorous and credible results. Peer review prior to data collection and analysis is tasked with suggesting improvements to problems in study methodology. This enables authors to improve their study design. Subject to an in-principle acceptance, authors will be able to conduct their research in the knowledge that their research will be published, regardless of the results, and with the confidence that their study methodology has been independently reviewed. This new approach will also offer authors the flexibility to analyze and report unexpected findings.
For journal readers, Registered Reports offers increased confidence that the scientific evidence they are reading is correctly represented, and that steps have been taken to reduce potential bias from, for example, selective reporting and HARKing (changing hypothesis based on and to fit study results).
“Our team of publishers at Wiley is delighted to have helped launch Registered Reports for Journal of Neuropsychology and the British Psychological Society. With Registered Reports, leading journals offer new ways to support researchers’ efforts to conduct and report their work in the best possible way. Our Registered Reports toolkit makes setting-up this innovative service easy for Wiley journals,” commented Rebecca Harkin, Publisher for Psychology at Wiley.
Registered Reports will be initially launched in the Journal of Neuropsychology, published by Wiley on behalf of the BPS. More than eighty journals published by Wiley and other publishers that already publish Registered Reports are listed as “participating journals” by the Center for Open Science at this link https://cos.io/rr/. Wiley has a Registered Reports toolkit for editors of the journals it publishes to enable them to launch Registered Reports rapidly, and will extend the initiative to several other journals through 2018.
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