Recently, F1000Research published the first article of their new Registered Report initiative. The publisher is the first to go a step further with this publication format, combining the Registered Report model with post-publication open peer review, and is inviting authors to submit study protocols for publication.
As we reported earlier this year, Registered Reports take the form of peer-reviewed study protocols, reviewed before the study’s results are known and thus enabling an early ‘publication in principle’ decision based on the scientific rigour of the study, regardless of its outcome. In the F1000Research model, authors are invited to submit their protocol for publication prior to data collection, with reviewers providing open feedback and approval (or not), which is published alongside the article. Authors are encouraged to revise the article where appropriate, to address any concerns raised by reviewers, before proceeding to data collection. After completion of the study, a full article is published and linked to the protocol. Post-publication open peer review then ensures that the protocol was adhered to and that the conclusions reached are justified.
It is anticipated that this model will increase transparency, credibility and reproducibility, while reducing publication bias.