The past, present and future of Registered Reports

Nat Hum Behav. 2022 Jan;6(1):29-42. doi: 10.1038/s41562-021-01193-7. Epub 2021 Nov 15.


Registered Reports are a form of empirical publication in which study proposals are peer reviewed and pre-accepted before research is undertaken. By deciding which articles are published based on the question, theory and methods, Registered Reports offer a remedy for a range of reporting and publication biases. Here, we reflect on the history, progress and future prospects of the Registered Reports initiative and offer practical guidance for authors, reviewers and editors. We review early evidence that Registered Reports are working as intended, while at the same time acknowledging that they are not a universal solution for irreproducibility. We also consider how the policies and practices surrounding Registered Reports are changing, or must change in the future, to address limitations and adapt to new challenges. We conclude that Registered Reports are promoting reproducibility, transparency and self-correction across disciplines and may help reshape how society evaluates research and researchers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Peer Review*
  • Research Design*
  • Research Report / trends*