In well designed and adequately powered experiments null findings are often as informative as ‘positive’ results but the current incentive structure has skewed the literature toward positive findings. In this context, Registered Reports (RR) offer a path to publication irrespective of the findings. In this article, the authors therefore addressed the question whether more null findings were indeed published in registered reports and pre-registrations than in the rest of the literature:
To test this, the authors surveyed a list of 127 published bio-medical and psychological science RRs compiled by the Open Science Framework. They found that 61% of the studies surveyed presented negative data, which is in stark contrast to the estimated 5-20% of null findings in the traditional literature (Fanelli, 2012, Scientometrics, 90(3), 891–904) – suggesting that RRs can considerably increase the chances for publishing scientific articles that did not support the authors’ original hypothesis.