A survey on how preregistration affects the research workflow: better science but more work

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The preregistration of research protocols and analysis plans is a main reform innovation to counteract confirmation bias in the social and behavioural sciences. While theoretical reasons to preregister are frequently discussed in the literature, the individually experienced advantages and disadvantages of this method remain largely unexplored. The goal of this exploratory study was to identify the perceived benefits and challenges of preregistration from the researcher’s perspective. To this end, we surveyed 355 researchers, 299 of whom had used preregistration in their own work. The researchers indicated the experienced or expected effects of preregistration on their workflow. The results show that experiences and expectations are mostly positive. Researchers in our sample believe that implementing preregistration improves or is likely to improve the quality of their projects. Criticism of preregistration is primarily related to the increase in work-related stress and the overall duration of the project. While the benefits outweighed the challenges for the majority of researchers with preregistration experience, this was not the case for the majority of researchers without preregistration experience. The experienced advantages and disadvantages identified in our survey could inform future efforts to improve preregistration and thus help the methodology gain greater acceptance in the scientific community.

Link to resource: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.211997

Type of resources: Reading

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

Primary user(s): Student, Teacher

Subject area(s): Applied Science, Arts and Humanities, Business and Communication, Career and Technical Education, Education, English Language Arts, History, Law, Life Science, Math & Statistics, Physical Science, Social Science

Language(s): English