From outcome to process focus: Fostering a more robust psychological science through registered reports and results-blind reviewing


A variety of alternative mechanisms, strategies, and “ways of doing” have been proposed for improving the rigor and robustness of published research in the psychological sciences in recent years. In this article, we describe two existing but underused publication models—registered reporting (RR) and results-blind reviewing (RBR)—that we believe would contribute in important ways to improving both the conduct and evaluation of psychological research. We first outline the procedures and distinguishing features of both publication pathways and note their value for promoting positive changes to current scientific practices. We posit that a significant value of RR and RBR is their potential to promote a greater focus on the research process (i.e., how and why research is conducted) relative to research outcomes (i.e., what was observed or concluded from research). We conclude by discussing what we perceive to be five common beliefs about RR and RBR practices and attempt to provide a balanced perspective of the realities likely to be experienced with these systems.

Perspectives on Psychological Science, 13, 448-456
James A. Grand
James A. Grand
Associate Professor, Psychology

I’m a scientist at heart, an organizational psychologist by training, and a lucky dad and husband all the time.