The open access journal, BMC Psychology, will launch the first randomized controlled trial to find out if a ‘results free’ peer-review process can help reduce publication bias. STM Publishing News brought this to our attention in their article, “New ‘results free’ peer-review process to be piloted for academic publishing.”

What is ‘results free’? That means reviewers of research manuscripts submitted for publication will not be able to see the results or discussion sections until the end of the review process. The theory behind this approach is it could ensure the research is judged on the strength of a study’s methods, and the question it is addressing, rather than the results or outcome of the study.

Dr Katherine Button from the University of Bath, an advocate for improving the transparency of research, said: “Publication bias is a serious issue in academic publishing because it distorts the evidence available to clinicians, researchers and policymakers – potentially leading to false conclusions that could have severe consequences.”

The trial will start with an initial pilot phase where the first ten authors to opt in will go through the ‘results free’ process to show that that the procedure is feasible and efficient.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.