This special series will focus on introducing the learning disability research community to a new way to publish, the registered report. Unlike regular empirical articles, registered reports go through peer review before the study is conducted or results of the research are known. Authors submit their introduction, methods, analysis plans, and pilot data if applicable, as a “stage-1” manuscript. This manuscript then goes through peer review, with reviewers evaluating and making recommendations for study plans and authors responding. This process continues until the Editor rejects or grants “in-principle acceptance” to the stage-1 manuscript. If the stage-1 manuscript receives an in-principle acceptance, the authors then pre-register their approved study plans and start the study.
After completion of the study, the authors write up and submit a “stage-2” manuscript, which is the complete manuscript that adheres to APA formatting and LDQ Author Guidelines. At this stage, reviewers, the journal editor, and the guest editors review the completed manuscript to evaluate whether the pre-approved protocol was followed and conclusions are sound. If the plan was followed and results discussed appropriately, final acceptance is granted.
What makes registered reports different from regular publications is that the system of pre-review and pre-approval based on methodological quality:
- Allows reviewers to provide constructive feedback proactively, before the study is conducted, which can be incorporated by the authors to improve the study.
- Prevents reviewers and editors from deciding whether a publication merits publication based on (significant or interesting) findings, or forcing post-hoc changes to the analyses.
- Removes the incentive for authors to engage in questionable research practices to attain statistically significant findings.
For this special series, our goal is to show the learning disability community that a range of research methodologies lend themselves to registered reports. Therefore, we are especially interested in publishing manuscripts that reflect a range of methodologies. We welcome submissions that propose using group experimental and quasi-experimental designs, single-case designs, correlational designs, qualitative methods, descriptive methods, individual differences methods, meta-analytical methods, secondary data analysis, replications, and other empirical methodologies appropriate for addressing research questions relevant to students with and at risk for learning disabilities. Proposed research studies must focus on empirically examining research questions with direct relevance for the education and outcomes of students with and/or demonstrably at risk for learning disabilities.
More information concerning registered reports, including workflow and checklists for investigators, is available here. As registered reports are likely new for many special education researchers, we welcome questions concerning process or fit (see below for e-mail addresses).
Now Accepting Extended Abstracts
We invite interested researchers to submit extended abstracts of planned stage-1 manuscripts. For consideration, please email your extended abstract submission* to Bryan Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a confirmation of receipt. We will invite approximately five stage-1 manuscripts for the special series based on quality of proposed methods and contribution to a methodologically diverse set of studies for the special series.
Abstracts should be submitted by February 15, 2020, with decisions on abstracts anticipated by March 1, 2020. If invited to contribute to the special series, stage-1 manuscript (consisting of a complete Introduction and prospective Method) will be submitted for peer review by June 1, 2020. It is expected that stage-1 review will be completed on or before October 15, 2020. If granted in-principle acceptance, full stage-2 manuscripts, reporting the completed study, will be submitted for review by August 15, 2021. We anticipate final decisions on stage-2 manuscripts by November 15, 2021.
* To allow the guest editors to evaluate and invite selected stage-1 manuscripts for the special series, we ask that interested researchers initially submit an extended abstract that provides the following details. We anticipate that extended abstracts will be one to two pages in length. Note that, depending on the research design, some of these categories may need to be modified. Our intent is for authors to provide us with a meaningful overview of the proposed study.
- Study rationale/background
- Research questions (specify relevance for students with and/or at risk for learning disabilities)
- Primary research design/method
- Sample description
- Independent variable
- Measures and key outcomes
- Data analytic strategy
- Feasibility of recruiting sample and conducting study within the timeframe of the special issue.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions:
Bryan Cook: email@example.com
Bill Therrien: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Hart: email@example.com