Top Political Science Journal Introduces Results-Free Peer Review
The Journal of Experimental Political Science (JEPS) just announced that is opening up a new kind of manuscript submission based on preregistered reports. Here is how they describe it:
“A preregistered report is like any other research paper in many respects. It offers a specific research question, summarizes the scholarly conversation in which the question is embedded, explicates the theoretically grounded hypotheses that offer a partial answer to the research question, and details the research design for testing the proposed hypotheses. It differs from most research papers in that a preregistered report stops here. The researchers do not take the next step of reporting results from the data they collected. Instead, they preregister the design in a third-party archive, such as the Open Science Framework, before collecting data.”
“At JEPS, we will send out preregistered reports for a review, just like other manuscripts, but we will ask reviewers to focus on whether the research question, theory, and design are sound. If the researchers carried out the proposed research a) would they make a contribution and b) would their proposed test do the job? If the answer is yes (potentially after a round of revisions), we will conditionally accept the paper and give the researchers a reasonable amount of time to conduct the study, write up the results, and resubmit the revised fully-fledged paper. At this point, we will seek the reviewers’ advice one more time and ask, “Did the researchers do what they said they were going to do?” If the answer is “yes,” we will publish the paper. It doesn’t matter if the research produced unexpected results, null findings, or inconsistent findings. In fact, we will specifically instruct reviewers at the second stage to ignore statistical significance and whether they support the authors’ hypotheses when evaluating the paper.”
This follows the recent announcement at another Cambridge University Press journal, the Japanese Journal of Political Science, that it is introducing results-free peer review (RFPR).
To read more about the JEPS announcement, click here.
To read previous posts about RFPR at TRN, click here, here, here, and here.