A Grant-Making Program Using Registered Reports to Improve Rigor and Credibility of Consciousness Research
TWCF Number
Project Duration
October 1 / 2021
- September 20 / 2024
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
North America
Amount Awarded

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Brian Nosek
Institution Center for Open Science, Inc.

Led by project director Brian Nosek, the Center for Open Science will conduct a grant-making project for consciousness research in partnership with multiple journals using the Registered Reports (RR) publishing model to interrupt how consciousness research is conducted.

In a Registered Report, authors submit a paper detailing their research question and proposed methodology before conducting the research and observing the study's outcomes. If the paper passes this first stage of peer review, authors receive "in-principle acceptance" This means that the journal commits to publishing the paper regardless of outcomes, as long as the authors follow through with competent execution using pre-approved assessments and research reporting. 

After the research has been conducted, the paper goes through a second stage of peer review. This review assesses adherence to the original commitments, clarity of the distinction between planned and unplanned analyses, and accuracy of interpretation of findings -- not whether the results are positive, interesting, or consistent with hypotheses. 

The COS will manage a call for proposals, after which eligible authors will be invited to submit to an approved consciousness journal of their choice. Confirmation of in-principle acceptance by the journal will prompt a second review by COS to confirm content and budget eligibility, with approved authors receiving grant awards from COS. COS estimates that they will award 40-50 consciousness researchers to conduct and publish rigorous studies using the Registered Reports publishing mechanism. In principle, every funded study should be published, leading to no waste in funding resources due to publication bias and ignoring null results.

In addition to supporting high-quality consciousness research, the COS will use this grant-making program as a marketing intervention to spur broader culture change in consciousness research.

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