In January, the Journal of Politics will introduce Registered Reports as a new article format. A Registered Report is a form of an empirical research article in which the theory, methods and proposed analysis are pre-registered, reviewed, and in-principle-accepted for publication prior to data access. JOP introduces Registered Reports as a trial and will report on the experiences after the trial has ended. Registered Report submissions are open from January 1st 2023 through September 30st 2023. I have the honor to serve as the JOP’s Special Editor and will handle all Registered Reports submissions.
Why Registered Reports?
Registered Reports chart a clear, reliable path to publication. The structured process reduces uncertainties as scholars know before data collection whether the efforts will result in a research publication. Registered Reports are therefore particularly appealing for Early Career Researchers who will be evaluated based on their publication track records. Moreover, the clear and reliable path to publication may encourage researchers at all career stages to take risks in ambitious projects.
The article format promises advantages for the academic community as a whole because it is designed to promote the credibility of published research findings. Editorial decisions on Registered Reports are based on the merits of the research question and design, irrespective of the empirical results. In consequence, Registered Reports should minimize publication bias (overrepresenting clean, positive or spectacular results) and reporting bias (overrepresenting findings that match researcher preferences) while allowing the flexibility to conduct unregistered analyses and report serendipitous findings.