9.401 | Fall 2022 | Graduate

Tools for Robust Science

Week 4 Tool: Pre-registered Analysis Plans

The Tool

Practical skills assignment

  1. Find a paper in your field that was pre-registered. Where was the pre-registration stored? Was it easy to find, from the paper? Compare the pre-registered analyses to the analyses reported in the paper. Did the authors follow their pre-registration? If not, did they make clear where they deviated?
  2. For one of your projects (at any stage from planning to post-publication), find a pre-registration template, or a pre-registration of a reasonably similar study. Spend 30 minutes on an outline/draft of a pre-registration. You don’t need to complete the pre-registration, but the idea is to learn about the challenges of writing a pre-registration. 
  3. Identify a journal in your field that accepts submissions of Registered Reports (i.e. peer-reviewed pre-registrations)

In your response paper, describe what you accomplished in this task, including anything that was easier or harder than you expected.

Then, critically evaluate pre-registration of analysis plans as a tool to address experimenter degrees of freedom, and inflated and overconfident effect sizes in the scientific literature.

In part 2 of your response paper describe what you did, in fulfilling the practical activity as outlined above. 


More arguments in favour of preregistration:

Registered reports:

A list of journals accepting registered report submissions.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2022
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments