Meta-Psychology publishes theoretical and empirical contributions that advance psychology as a science through critical discourse related to individual articles, research lines, research areas, or psychological science as a field. Important contributions include systematic reviews, meta-analyses, replicability reports, and replication studies. We encourage pre-registered studies and registered reports (i.e., peer-review on the basis of theory, methods, and planned data-analysis, before data has been collected). Manuscripts introducing novel methods are welcome, but also tutorials on established methods that are still poorly understood by psychology researchers. We further welcome papers introducing statistical packages or other software useful for psychology researchers.
Meta-Psychology welcomes contributions from neighboring fields. For example, a statistical method developed primarily for behavioral economics that could be useful to psychologists is welcome. Outside perspectives as well as cross-disciplinary work relevant to psychological science are most welcome. However, it is always important that authors are able to explain why their work is important for psychological science.
Meta-Psychology aims to bridge the gap between discussions of psychology as a science in social media, and publications in traditional peer-review journals. For example, there exist excellent online tutorials on statistical methods, as well as critical commentary on published papers in various blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. Meta-Psychology offers a way for authors to write up and submit these contributions for publication after rigorous peer review.
Meta-Psychology does not publish a limited number of studies or seek to have a certain rejection rate. All papers that are found to be of high scientific quality after peer review are published. Novelty is not considered a criterium. However, every manuscript should make a unique contribution to the literature, either by introducing something new, or by shedding new light on a previously discussed topic, by building on the previous literature. For example, a primer on important but mostly forgotten ideas from the 1950s is welcome, as long as it properly cites and credits the original research. Further, as a policy, Meta-Psychology is generous in publishing critical commentaries on research published in the journal, provided they are of high quality.
Free Open Access - No Processing Fees
Meta-Psychology is a completely free Open Access journal. There is no fee for publishing, and the articles are available free online. The journal is owned by Meta-Psychology’s editorial board and published by Linnaeus University Press. The editorial board has full control over the content and the editorial process, whereas Linnaeus University press is responsible for the platform based on Open Journal System (OJS) software, and other publishing issues such as DOI and ISSN. The editorial work is divided between the editors, Linnaeus University Press, and the authors. Meta-Psychology only provides minimal copy-editing and authors are thus required to format their articles before they are published online. There is no printed version of the journal. A permanent archive of the journal outside the publisher’s website is instead secured through the Open Science Framework.
All articles are published under a CC-BY license. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). In short, this license means that the authors do not transfer their copyright to the publisher (as is the case with traditional journals). Authors retain the full copyright and they can upload their papers to any preprint server, allowing maximum dissemination of their work. The license also allows others to use the article (e.g., for text mining of scholarly papers ), provided that they properly cite it. This includes both noncommercial and commercial usage.
Open Peer Review
All manuscripts are subject to rigorous open non-anonymous peer review by several expert peers. Papers are first screened by the AE and papers that do not match the scope and/or are of low quality are desk rejected. Papers that pass this initial screening are immediately posted as pre-prints on the journals website. They are then subject to traditional review by a minimum of two expert peers.
Manuscripts are also posted on social media in a round of open peer review, exposing the paper to several thousand potential peer reviewers. The AE gathers all non-anonymous peer reviewers’ comments, and everyone who contributes substantially are credited in the paper as a reviewer, if they so wish. Further, the editor curates the peer review process into a Peer-review Report. This is published in the journal with its own DOI and peer reviewers are credited as co-authors of this report. Peer reviewers can list this peer-review report on their CV, linking the DOI. Peer-review Reports are not peer-reviewed themselves.
The open peer review round closes when the traditional peer review is over. After an article has been published, it is still possible to submit a post-publication peer review. These will be published as a Peer-review Report.
Transparent Publication Process
From the moment of submission, the entire work-flow (decisions, reviews , etc.) is available online through the Open Science Framework. This is saved and linked in the final accepted manuscript. For rejected manuscripts, this will be documented and linked to in editorials.
A complete list of all the submissions and their history can be found at The Meta-Psychology OSF project page.
Prior to publication, all statistical analyses are reproduced by our statistical reproduction team, which consists of the Statistical Editor and our editorial assistant. This makes the article eligible for the reproducibility badge.
A Wide Range of Topics and Submission Types
Besides original theoretical and empirical articles on the topic of meta-psychology, we invite papers in the following categories:
Commentaries on published research
Traditional journals will not always publish commentaries on articles they have published. We welcome these types of contributions regardless of what journal the original article was published in. Further, we encourage both pre- and post peer reviewers who have a contribution to make that surpasses that of peer review, to expand their reviews into commentaries.
Re-analysis of own research
With the rapid progress of research methods in psychology, authors may find that their already published articles can be substantially improved by re-analysis, or by presentation of undisclosed measures or additional unreported experiments. Journals typically only allow authors to correct obvious errors or retract their papers. Meta-Psychology allows original authors to expand, critique, and improve on their previous articles, regardless of where they were originally published.
Meta-Psychology offers the opportunity to completely empty an author’s file drawer on a research topic, provided that it is possible to present this as a coherent paper.
Not all literature is suitable for a large-scale traditional meta-analysis. Replicability reports rely on tools, e.g., R-index or p-curve, to assess bias, replicability, or evidential value of a research topic. These replicability reports can guide researchers in the area as well as provide an indication of whether the literature can be meaningfully combined in a full-scale meta-analysis. A full disclosure table and a-priori inclusion rules that guide the selection of included studies are mandatory for this type of report.
History of Psychology
We welcome articles on the history of psychology, particularly with a focus on psychology as a science.
Philosophy of Psychology
We welcome philosophically oriented papers on the topic of psychology.
Cross-disciplinary perspectives on psychology
We welcome papers that provide perspectives on psychology as a science from a cross-disciplinary perspective.
The journal aims for complete transparency throughout the entire publication process. There is no blinding of either authors or reviewers. Upon submission via the Open Journal System , the editorial team will also create an OSF project page, upload the paper as a pre-print, and invite the authors to the project. The project will be completely open, and the entire review process will be available on the project page, after a short delay. This project page is registered (frozen) at certain intervals (submission, revision, acceptance, rejection) and will remain as online supplementary materials. Should a paper be rejected, the project will remain and be helpful for the authors and reviewers for another submission.
The journal has two parallel submission systems: manuscripts and registered reports. Manuscripts are the traditional way to submit scientific work. We strongly encourage the studies reported in manuscripts to be pre-registered (e.g., OSF or aspredicted.org), but this is not mandatory. As accurately pre-registering a study is difficult, we will provide a checklist for potential authors when considering submitting their work. When papers are based on pre-registered projects, the papers should include separate “confirmatory” and “exploratory” results sections.
Authors submitting registered reports will have an in-principle-acceptance (IPA) before data collection, and before results are known. Important part of the review is the checklist, which will be shared with the potential authors before submitting their registered report. The entire research process from research question to publication will be documented through the OSF project page that is initiated by the action editor.
All submissions have to be accompanied by open data, well-documented code, and open materials. Exceptions to this rule will only be granted in extraordinary cases, and only after careful ruling out of alternative options (e.g., adding noise to data to de-identify it).
All analyses in papers published by the journal should be easy to reproduce (running the code should produce the same result as written in the paper), and should be described in enough detail to be easily replicated. To emphasize this, it is the policy of the journal that the responsibility of the authors does not end at publication. Authors are required to co-operate with replicators or peers making critical commentary on their work. Failure to do so in good faith can be grounds for retracting the article.
All papers must include a statement about potential conflicts of interest, including activities that potentially confer material or non-material rewards on the authors in connection with the topic of the article, as well as an explanation of the contributions made by each author.
Open Science Badges
Articles will be awarded the Open Science Badges, when applicable. Unique to the journal is the reproducibility badge following successful reproduction of the analyses during peer review.
Every article has its own web page on the journal site. This web page can and will be updated to reflect important news about the article. For example:
Links to commentaries on the paper
Links to replications of the paper
Links to new updated publications. For example, an article may introduce Method X 1.0, but two years later the method is published as 2.0. Then that will be linked.
The editors will be responsible for making sure that commentaries published in the journal are correctly linked to from the original paper. Authors are expected to inform editors about important progress outside of the journal (e.g., a replication, new version) so that this web page can be updated.
Note that the published paper’s PDF is final unless there are corrections and/or retractions.