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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Cover letter
  • Account on OSF - linked in Cover letter
  • Manuscript in PDF
  • Manuscript in editable format
  • Dataset (if applicable)
  • Data analysis (if applicable)
  • Materials (if applicable)

Author Guidelines

Please start by carefully reading the about the publication section.  

Submission Types

Original Article
Original empirical and/or theoretical contributions in the field of Meta-Psychology. This category also includes meta-analyses, replicability reports, and tutorials.

Registered Report
Pre-registered proposals on the same topics as Original Articles that are given in-principle acceptance prior to data collection.

Commentaries on articles in MP,  commentaries on articles published in other journals, as well as extensive re-analysis of your own published research. This category also includes opinion on psychology as a field, or on specific lines of research.

File-Drawer Report
A complete emptying of your file drawer on a topic in psychology. We encourage these reports to be brief in the introduction, full-length in method and results, and to have a brief results-focused discussion. File-Drawer Reports should not compete with journals on general or specialized psychology topics, and should be reserved for studies that would elsewhere remain in the file-drawer.

They should contain a transparency statement:

"This report is an exhuastive report on all data available from research project(s) relating to the topic, where at least one of the author's was principal investigator, or have otherwise the right to publish the results. This includes not only null findings, or unexpected findings, but also studies that are suspected to have failed, with careful explanation of the circumstances of the failure (e.g., experimental error, failed manipiulation check). The context surrounding how these data were collected, and if they are somehow connected to already published studies (e.g., dropped experiments) is carefully explained. "

The primary goal of a File-Drawer-Report is to reduce the impact of publication bias by making hard to published data available.  Another goal is to make researchers learn from failures and mistakes. Poorly designed studies that are part of the topic should thus be included, even if they are embarassing for the authors, but their limitations should be carefully explained. 

Submitting an Original Article, Commentary or File-Drawer Report

If you are unsure about the suitability of your manuscript for the journal, we encourage you to contact us before submission. Also please make sure to explain important things about your submission in the cover letter.

The manuscript should be submitted as a reader friendly pdf that will be published as a pre-print after initial editor consideration. This process is swift and happens before peer review. Please make sure there are no copy-right restrictions on the PDF as the editorial team may need to open it up for editing.The manuscript should also be submitted in one of following editable formats: .docx, LaTex or Rmarkdown. Formatting of the manuscript should follow APA-style except that figures and tables should be embeded in the PDF/mansucript, and placed where they are easy to read. The PDF can be either in the usual APA-manuscript form, or preferably in a reader-friendly form, for example an APA-article-styled PDF.

All manuscripts should be accompanied by dataset, the code necessary to reproduce the statistical analysis and the research materials. Please note that this will be made open for everyone to see and use. To avoid any misunderstandings, if data, analysis or materials are not applicable please upload a note explaining this. If you have technical or ethical problems with sharing data, analysis or materials, please carefully explain this in the cover letter and the editor will contact you about how to proceed.

In some cases, not all parts of the submission can be made open right away. If you have any such concerns, it is important to voice this during submission as the default policy is that everything is made open right away. Always be prepared to make such details upon after publication.

Submitting a Proposal for a Registered Report

A registered report is an article form in which theory, data collection and/or proposed analyses are pre-registered and reviewed prior to the data collection and/or proposed analyses. Registered reports are submitted and reviewed in two stages; once before data collection and/or analyses, and once when the final paper is completed.

The registered report is on the one hand one of the most convincing ways of doing research, as it precludes p-hacking and HARKing. We therefore very much welcome submissions of the ‘registered report’ type. On the other hand, the registered report is also one of the most challenging ways of doing research, as many important decisions of the research need to be stipulated beforehand. We provide a checklist that authors and reviewers need to use when writing and evaluating a registered report, to assist them in creating high-standard that prevents p-hacking and HARKing.

The guidelines for both authors and reviewers follow those of the journal Cortex http://cdn.elsevier.com/promis_misc/PROMISpub_idt_Guidelines_cortex_RR_17_04_2013.pdf with a few notable exceptions described below.


Registered reports that plan to collect data in small samples and consequently may have low statistical power are considered for publication. The reason is that small-sample research without bias (i.e., no publication bias, no ­p-hacking, no HARKing) may be very useful for subsequent meta-analyses

 In stage 1, authors submit papers including full introduction, theory section (if any), and methods section including a statistical analyses subsection that explains all analyses to test the hypotheses derived in the introduction of theory section. These sections may not be changed after the report is provisionally accepted for publication, i.e.,these sections will not change while or after collecting data and/or doing the analyses

Authors should use a checklist (https://osf.io/6bv27/) when writing their report in the first stage to preclude p-hacking and HARKing. To be more precise, we require researchers to be specific, precise, and exhaustive in their plan of the study (Wicherts et al., 2016). These three prerequisites are translated into the scoring of items of the checklist, with a score of 3 tantamount to a specific, precise and exhaustive description with respect to an item. Authors should aim at score “3” for each relevant item on the checklist

In stage 2, the final report should consist of a “planned analyses” section, and possibly an “exploratory analyses” section. Authors are free to report any analyses in the “exploratory analyses” section, as long as the details of these analyses are provided in the article (or in supplements).

Note that the editor and reviewers will NOT evaluate the registered report on its novelty, statistical significance, or how ‘exciting’ it is. The main criteria for acceptance are

(i)              soundness of theory, and hypotheses following from the theory
(ii)             soundness of methodology and statistics to test the hypotheses
(iii)            adherence to the checklist (aiming for ‘3’s on items of the checklist)
(iv)            the report in part 1 being the same as the report in part 2 (wrt introduction, theory, methods)
(v)             results section being divided into one part corresponding to the “planned analyses” section, and possible one “exploratory” part; does the first part correspond to the         planned analyses section, and does the exploratory part include the details of the analyses? Are statistical techniques used that are appropriate for exploratory data analysis?
(vi)            soundness of conclusion and discussion section

See the last bullet for the authors, above. Reviewers see the paper at least twice, although it is possible that a reviewer is involved only in one stage of the review. Simply put, the “hard job” for reviewers is at the first stage of the research, when the reviewer judges the soundness of the proposed research and the adherence to the checklist. At the second stage, the reviewer’s most important task is to check the correspondence between the proposed research and the actual analyses.

Wicherts, J.M., Veldkamp, C.L.S., Augusteijn, H.E.M., Bakker, M., Van Aert, R.C.M., and Van Assen, M.A.L.M. (2016). Degrees of freedom in planning, running, analyzing, and reporting psychological studies: A checklist to avoid p-hacking. Frontiers.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01832


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