Call for Papers

Special Issue Call for Papers: Registered Reports for Upcoming Releases of Publicly Available Data Sets Relevant for Psychiatry

As noted in a previous editorial in Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science, all areas of science have noted concerns about robustness and replication over results for both basic and translational/applied work. One way to help address these concerns is to use preregistration of hypotheses and analyses for research studies, including the use of registered reports, in order to improve the quality of scientific analyses and to increase the likelihood that findings are robust and able to be replicated over time. 

Registered reports typically involve two stages. The first stage is a review of a detailed protocol of the study design and/or analyses, and is peer reviewed just as a full manuscript would be. Once “accepted,” that Stage 1 report is held until the study/analyses are complete, and the author submits the complete manuscript. If the author followed the approach outlined in the Stage 1 report, the results are published regardless of how the results emerge.  However, relatively few researchers in the fields of Psychiatry or Clinical Science take advantage of registered reports as a means to enhance robustness and reliability of results, particularly as compared to some other fields of work with humans or animals (e.g., more basic studies of cognition and affect). This is somewhat understandable, as studies with clinical populations can take many years to complete, and it may seem daunting to submit, for example, a Stage 1 registered report and then have to wait 3-5 years to collect the data, analyze it, and submit the final report.

However, the increasing number of large data sets with regular release schedules provides a perfect opportunity for researchers in Psychiatry and Clinical Science to take advantage of pursuing registered reports without having to wait years to publish the findings. There are now many large-scale studies in the field that are releasing their data on semi-regular schedules, including the Human Connectome Project, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, the UK Biobank, the Healthy Brain and Child Development study, and any number of studies that will be released through the National Data Archive or other open data sharing platforms.  Many of these studies make clear what variables will be available in upcoming releases, allowing investigators to generate hypotheses and formulate analysis plans (including how exploratory analyses will be handled) prior to having access to the data.

This special issue of Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science will focus on registered reports of work relevant to the mission of Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science where the initial Stage 1 submission outlines the motivation and proposed analyses for upcoming data releases for which the authors have not yet obtained data. Reports focused on any dataset and set of questions relevant to the readership of Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science is welcome, and the only requirement is that the authors have not yet had access to the data that is the focus of the registered report.

We invite submissions by March 1, 2023, with the goal of publishing the special issue in 2024. All submissions will be peer reviewed. Authors should indicate that the submission is intended for the special issue. Submit at For questions, contact the editorial office at [email protected].

About Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science

Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science is an official journal of the Society of Biological Psychiatry and part of the Biological Psychiatry family of journals. Companion titles include Biological Psychiatry and Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. The Society’s purpose is to promote excellence in scientific research and education in fields that investigate the nature, causes, mechanisms, and treatments of disorders of thought, emotion, and behavior. In accord with this mission, this open-access, peer-reviewed, rapid-publication, international journal promotes open dissemination of research by publishing basic, translational, and clinical contributions from scientists across the world in all disciplines, research areas, and research methods relevant to the pathophysiology and treatment of major psychiatric disorders.

The journal publishes novel results of original research which represent an important new lead or significant impact on the field, including those addressing genetic and environmental risk factors, neural circuitry, neurochemistry, hormonal function, and computational understanding across the lifespan, as well as important new therapeutic approaches.  Reviews, meta-analyses, and commentaries that focus on topics of key research and broad interest are also encouraged, as well as pre-registered reports.