Monday, December 3, 2018

Realising Registered Reports: Part 2

TL;DR: Please support Registered Reports by becoming a signatory on letters to editors by leaving your name here.

The current blog post is a continuation of a blogpost that I wrote half a year ago. Back then, frustrated at the lack of field-specific journals which accept Registered Reports, I’d decided to start collecting signatures from reading researchers and write to the editors of journals which publish reading-related research, to encourage them to offer Registered Reports as a publication format. My exact procedure is described in the blog post (linked above).

On the 18th of June, I have contacted 44 journal editors. Seven of the editors wrote back to promise that they would discuss Registered Reports at the next meeting of the editorial board. One had already started piloting this new format (Discourse Processes), and one declined for understandable organisational reasons. To my knowledge, two reading-related journals have already taken the decision to offer Registered Reports in the future: the Journal of Research in Reading, and the Journal of the Scientific Studies of Reading. So, there is change, but it’s slow.

At the same time as I was collecting signatories and sending emails to editors about Registered Reports, a number of researchers decided to do the same. A summary of all journals that have been approached by one of us, and the journals’ responses, can be found here. A few months ago, we decided to join forces.

First, as a few of us were from the area of psycholinguistics, we decided to pool our signatories, and continue writing to editors in this field. The template on which the letters to the editors would be based can be found here.

Second, we decided to start approaching journals which are aimed at a broader audience and have a higher impact. Here, our pooled lists would already contain hundreds of researchers who would like to see more Registered Reports offered by academic journals. The first journal that we aim to contact is PNAS: As they recently announced that they will be offering a new publication format (Brief Reports), we would like to encourage them to consider also adding Registered Reports to their repertoire. The draft letter to the editor can be found here.

Third, we also decided to write an open letter, addressed to all editors and publishers. The ambition is to publish it in Nature News and Comments or a similar outlet. The draft letter can be found here.

I am writing this blog post, because we’re still on the lookout for signatories. You can choose to support all three initiatives, or any combination of them, by taking two minutes to fill in this Google form. You can also email me directly – whichever is easier for you. Every signatory matters: from any field, any career stage, any country. It would also be helpful if you could forward this link to anyone who you think might support this initiative. I’m also happy to answer any questions, take in suggestions, or discuss concerns about this format.

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