Royal Society Open Science has been in the vanguard of efforts to expand the availability of Registered Reports as a journal article type. The journal began offering Registered Reports in 2015 (not long after the journal itself launched in 2014), and in 2018 we launched a modified version of the format to more easily accommodate Replication studies, as part of our Accountable Replication Policy. Now, in April 2021, we take our next step in promoting Registered Reports (RRs) by welcoming the submission of Stage 2 Registered Reports that have been reviewed and recommended by the Peer Community In (PCI) Registered Reports platform.
PCI Registered Reports is a non-profit, non-commercial platform that coordinates the peer review of Registered Report preprints. Once the submissions are accepted following peer review (or in PCI terms “recommended”), the completed Stage 2 Registered Report is posted at the preprint server where the preprint is hosted, and the peer reviews and recommendation of the preprint are posted at the PCI RR website. Following the completion of peer review, authors have the option to publish their articles in a growing list of “PCI RR-friendly” journals that have committed to accepting PCI Registered Report recommendations without further peer review.
Royal Society Open Science is pleased to join the inaugural list of 15 PCI RR-friendly journals that will automatically accept any RR that has been recommended by PCI Registered Reports. Authors will be expected to pay our usual article processing charge, and final acceptance will be subject to the paper meeting the journal’s usual standards regarding bias control and formatting.
This is an interesting experiment, and one we’re excited to be a part of, as it offers substantial opportunities to expand community awareness of Registered Reports and increase the number of Registered Reports submitted to Royal Society Open Science – as well as a number of other journals at other publishers that have also agreed to participate. We note that authors will retain the option to submit their Registered Reports manuscripts directly to the journal, as well as via the PCI Registered Reports track.
In common with other papers we publish, readers will have access to the peer review histories of manuscripts received via this route, and reviewers will have the option to waive their right to anonymity. Unlike other manuscripts, as the review process will have taken place in the PCI Registered Reports network and not within the direct oversight of the journal, the authors submitting their Stage 2 RR to Royal Society Open Science will be required to supply the URL of the review history (and its associated digital object identifiers [DOIs]). This history – and the submitted manuscript – will be checked by the journal’s Registered Report Editor Prof Chris Chambers, who will have also overseen the review process at PCI. We will also clearly display a short note indicating that the peer review was conducted externally, but with the oversight of Prof Chambers.
You can find out more about the PCI Registered Report process on our Registered Report guidance page. We hope you’ll agree that this is an exciting development in the world of pre-registration, and one that has much potential to enhance Registered Reports as an article type. We look forward to supporting the project and encourage our readers to submit their Registered Reports to Royal Society Open Science either via our regular direct track or via PCI Registered Reports.