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Registered Reports

Empowering empirical research with a robust, reproducible publication platform that celebrates methodological rigor and delivers unparalleled author benefits.


Registered Reports are an article type that reforms the traditional publication process by allowing authors to pre-register their experiments. This means the review and publication process is split up in two stages.

Initially, you submit a stage I manuscript, comprising an introduction, hypothesis, methods, proposed analyses, and any applicable research ethics statement, before conducting the experiments. Your manuscript undergoes assessment and review by experts, who provide valuable insights to strengthen the experimental design, ultimately increasing the likelihood of obtaining reliable and reproducible results. Upon acceptance, the manuscript is published as a stage I article on ScienceDirect.

The publication of a stage I article comes with an “in principle acceptance (IPA)” for the stage II manuscript. This guarantee ensures publication alongside the stage I article, provided that you have followed the approved protocol (or sufficiently explained any deviations to the handling editor beforehand) and that the conclusions align with the underlying data, even if the hypothesis is not confirmed.

Why publish your Registered Reports article with Elsevier?

The two-stage publication approach of Registered Reports offers early feedback, reduces publication bias against negative results and improves transparency and reproducibility in research.

When publishing your Registered Reports article with an Elsevier journal, you can expect…

Top quality

Build robust research through rigorous review

  • You receive early feedback on your research plan from our expert editors and reviewers before conducting experiments, allowing you to fine-tune your proposed methods and analyses, and saving you time and effort on questionable studies.

  • Our rigorous peer review of study design and methodology ensures you build your research on a strong foundation and publish the best work possible, which paves the way for funding opportunities, career advancement and collaboration invitations.

Publication assurance

Publish your Registered Reports with confidence

  • You stake an early claim on your research hypothesis and benefit from the provisional guarantee that your work will be published regardless of the final outcomes, when your stage I article is accepted.

  • You are encouraged to report unexpected findings and tackle your research questions without the fear of non-significant results hindering publication.

High visibility

Reach the audience your research deserves

  • Your accepted articles from the two stages will be published alongside each other on the world’s largest platform, ScienceDirectopens in new tab/window, which attracts millions of researchers every month.

  • When publishing open access, your articles will be indexed and shared as widely as possible – our gold OA journals feature in databases like Scopus, DOAJ, Web of Science and PubMed Central.

Submitting a Registered Reports manuscript

To enable Registered Reports submissions, we have added two new article types to our submission and peer-review platform, Editorial Manager (EM): Registered Reports stage I and Registered Reports stage II. These two article types are linked together in EM. Accepted articles from the two stages will be published alongside each other on ScienceDirect.

Stage I

The stage I manuscript is reviewed, depending on the journal’s policy, by one or two external reviewers and the handling editor, who will evaluate the manuscript on several aspects such as the rationale, the proposed hypotheses, soundness and feasibility of the methodology and analyses, and reproducibility. Once the stage I article has been reviewed and accepted, it is published on ScienceDirect.

Stage II

An accepted and published stage I article automatically entails a provisional acceptance of the stage II manuscript (an “in principle acceptance” or IPA) before the outcomes are known, independently of the results, i.e., including negative, non-conclusive, positive or unexpected findings. These results are published as a stage II article. The manuscript may then be returned to the reviewers, who will examine whether the introduction, rationale and stated hypotheses are the same as the approved stage I submission and will verify if the data fits the results and conclusions.

Although you may deviate from the proposed materials and methods, you need to consult the handling editor before doing so to avoid any unwelcome surprises for either party. It is pivotal that the alternative method still answers the same original question(s).

For detailed instructions on how to submit a Registered Reports manuscript, see our Registered Reports author guidelines.

Participating journals

The following Elsevier journals welcome the submission of Registered Reports*

  • Addiction Neuroscience

  • AJPM Focus

  • Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics

  • Brain and Language

  • Brain Research

  • Clinica Chimica Acta

  • Clinical Biochemistry

  • Contemporary Educational Psychology

  • Current Research in Neurobiology

  • Current Research in Physiology

  • Developmental Biology

  • Infant Behavior and Development

  • International journal of Biological Macromolecules

  • International Journal of Psychophysiology

  • Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy

  • Journal of Clinical Epidemiology

  • Journal of mass spectrometry and advances in the clinical laboratory

  • Journal of Neuroimmunology

  • Journal of School Psychology

  • NFS Journal

  • Practical laboratory medicine

  • Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry

  • Protein expression and purification

Submit your Register Report by visiting the journal’s homepage on ScienceDirect.

* Please note that some journals within Elsevier maintain their own unique Registered Reports publication process. For journals that are not on this list, please see the journal's specific guidelines for more information.

Citing a Registered Reports article

Both the stage I and stage II article will receive a definite volume and issue / article number and are fully citable the moment they are published. If the stage II article is published, researchers can choose themselves whether the stage I or stage II article is the most relevant – or both – depending on the context of the reference.