Legal Issues Journal offers publication of Preregistered Research Articles.
Preregistration of your research means you are specifying your research plan in advance of your study, getting it evaluated by peer reviewers, and having a home for your research, provided it satisfies the aimed for criteria.
At Legal Issues Journal, Authors can deposit a research question and study design with the journal before conducting the scientific research – which will be peer reviewed by the journal. This allows for the evaluation of your research from the beginning of your study. Preregistration – through reviews before your work is carried out – will also help with improving the research design from the start of your scientific investigation.
The research articles are written and peer reviewed in two stages.
Stage 1: Authors submit a Skeleton Frame (see Preregistered research guide) including the hypothesis, methodology materials and methods sections, which is sent for peer review.
Approved Reports are accepted in-principle on the condition that the study is carried out as approved.
Stage 2: Following the completion of the study, the results and discussion are then incorporated in the protocol submitted in Stage 1 and resubmitted for peer review.
Finding the home for your research from the beginning of your research saves times with submission to a succession of journals (generally the case). Publishing via preregistration scheme is a powerful tool for early career researchers to get their paper published irrespective of the result (e.g. nonsignificant findings), as it allows to focus on data collection and writing-up, rather than performing more sophisticated analyses of data in an attempt to find a significant result.
Improvement of research (where relevant)
Having experts review your research at the onset is generally a luxury as it improves your work.
Increased Likelihood of Acceptance
Obtaining a provisional acceptance from the Journal will help ensure that your research will be publishable without unnecessary efforts.
Fairness towards Authors
Evaluation of the study design from the beginning of the research reduces some of the subconscious bias is, such as publication bias, confirmation bias, and impact bias.
Publication bias: Reviewers’ inclination to publish results that seem to support a hypothesis, leaving out negative or inconclusive outcomes.
Confirmation bias: The tendency of editors and reviewers to give more weight to results that support their own views or previously published work.
Impact bias: The editors’ tendency to give novel results more consideration, even though expected or confirmatory outcomes may be more informative.
Preregistered research guide – Submitting a Stage 1 Manuscript
In a preregistration authors specify as much detail as possible at the onset of the research. For example, they include the research question, the prediction/hypotheses, sample (including power calculation), the methods, measures, plans for data analysis, rules for excluding data.
Not all the details need to be specified and researchers can deviate from the original pre-registration plan, acknowledging the changes in a separate section (Unplanned Protocol Deviations) on a Stage 2.
Please submit the Stage 1 Manuscript; and a Cover letter.
Stage 1 Report / Skeleton Frame Manuscript Template
The research/study should be able to commence immediately after Stage 1 acceptance. If this is not the case, please consult with our editorial team before submitting.
Stage 1 manuscripts should include the following sections:
Brief explanation of research question, its relevance, and the proposed investigative approach. An additional outcome paragraph will be added in Stage 2.
A review of the relevant literature that motivates the research question, how your research fills a gap or contributes, and a description of the experimental aims and hypotheses.
This section is not to be edited after a Stage 1 in-principle acceptance.
Materials and Methods
This section should include description of sample, power calculation, study design, materials, measures, procedure, stopping rules, plans for data analysis, data exclusion criteria, criteria for replication (if applicable), etc. This section cannot be edited after Stage 1 in-principle acceptance.
The Cover Letter should include:
- Scientific question
Provide the scientific question you are addressing and why is it important to the field?
Present an anticipated timeline for completion of the study, and submission, if given a Stage 1 in-principle acceptance. Extensions can be discussed with the editor, if needed.
- Ethical Approval Plan
Provide details of ethical approval where relevant (required for research with humans and animals). A statement declaring any conflict of interests.