Adopting Registered Reports for Linguistic Journals
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Dear fellow linguists,
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Many of you have probably heard of a new format for journal articles: “Registered Reports” (RR). With RRs, you write a study and analysis plan, and submit it to a journal before you collect the data. You get feedback from the reviewers on the design of the study. If the reviewers approve of the methods, you get conditional acceptance. This means that the study will be published regardless of its outcome. Exploratory analyses can still be reported, but they will be explicitly distinguished from the confirmatory analyses relating to the original hypotheses. For more information about Registered Reports, including responses to possible concerns:
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https://cos.io/rr/
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The RR format is good for the scientific record, because it combats publication bias, HARKing, p-hacking, exploration of researcher degrees of freedom and other harmful practices.
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It is also good for us as individual researchers, because it helps us to avoid situations where we invest time and resources into a study, only to find out in retrospect that we overlooked some design flaw, yielding the study unpublishable. Many people have recently written about the conceptual and practical advantages of registered reports. You can find more information and answers to some FAQs about RRs here: https://cos.io/rr/. (Note that introducing registered reports as an article type does not mean that regular research pipelines will be substituted. It is complementary.)
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The Open Science Framework has started to approach journals, asking them to adopt this new article form. Doing this is a lot of work, so the field relies on us to spread the word and approach our own journals. I am happy to take on this job.
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There are some journals which offer the RR format, but not many of them are relevant to a specialized audience of quantitative linguistics. Fellow researchers from reading and hearing research have already started to contact some journals that are also relevant to us (including journals such as JML and Cognition). I want to take their work as a departure point and aim at contacting the editors of some of our own journals to suggest accepting the RR format. I made a list of journals that publish linguistic research (and have not been approached by others).
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In order to increase our chances of these journals adopting RRs (alongside the traditional article formats), I would like to ask you three favors (which won’t cost you much time):
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1) If there are any journals where you would like to see RRs, please add them to the list (sheet "Journals") before the 15th of September.
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2) If you would like to be a signatory on the emails to the editors, please let me know or add your name to the list of signatories (sheet "Signatories"). I will then add your name to the emails that I will send to the editors. Here is a template of the email:
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https://osf.io/3wct2/wiki/Journal%20Requests/
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3) If you are part of any networks for which this could be relevant, please help me to spread the word and my two requests above.
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If you have any questions or concerns about RRs, I would be very happy to discuss these matters with you.
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Thank you for your time.
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Kind regards,
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Timo Roettger
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