Comparison of Preregistration Platforms

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Preregistration forces researchers to front-load a lot of decision-making to an early stage of a project. Choosing which preregistration platform to use is one of those early decisions, and because a preregistration cannot be moved, that choice is permanent. This article aims to help researchers who are already interested in preregistration choose a platform by clarifying differences between them. Preregistration criteria and features are explained and analyzed for popular sites that cater to a broad range of research fields, including: GitHub, AsPredicted, Zenodo, the Open Science Framework (OSF), and an “open-ended” variant of OSF. Platforms such as for clinical research and PROSPERO for systematic reviews are not compared because they are limited to specific types of studies rather than general purpose research. While a private prespecification document can help mitigate self-deception, this guide considers publicly shared preregistrations that aim to improve credibility. It therefore defines three of the criteria (a timestamp, a registry, and persistence) as a bare minimum to meet the definition of a preregistration. Additional helpful features are also listed. GitHub and AsPredicted do not meet all three basic criteria. Zenodo and OSF meet the basic criteria and vary in which additional features they offer.

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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