Are Preregistration and Registered Reports Vulnerable to Hacking?

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Preregistration of study hypotheses has been proclaimed as the “revolution”1 to curb publication bias and data dredging such as p-hacking and HARKing, i.e., hypothesizing after results are known. Many publishers encourage preregistration in their submission policies,2 and a similar trend is being seen in registered reports, which are preregistration of a study plan, prereview, and acceptance for publication, all before data/results are seen.3 Sharp growth of platforms to facilitate preregistration, e.g., the Open Science Framework, has ensued.

A recent analysis on preregistered studies showed an increase in reports of null findings,4 which should be a reassurance against the specter of p-hacking. However, new evidence indicates that preregistration is being circumvented,5 with authors often deviating from registered plans and not fully disclosing it.

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Type of resources: Reading

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates), Graduate / Professional

Primary user(s): Student, Teacher

Subject area(s): Applied Science, Life Science, Social Science

Language(s): English