Supporting study registration to reduce research waste

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Marija Purgar , Paul Glasziou, Tin Klanjscek, Shinichi Nakagawa, Antica Culina


Research suffers from many inefficiencies. These lead to much research being avoidably wasted, with no or limited value to the end user (e.g. an estimated 82-89% of ecological research, and 85% of medical research). Here, we argue that the quality and impact of ecological research could be drastically improved by registration: pre-registration, and registered reports. However, without a coordinated action of the overall research support and publishing system, the transition to more registrations and their impact on the research quality will be very slow, if anything. In this perspective we envision a registration system that would best serve the field of ecology. This system partly corresponds to solutions already available in other fields. However, we suggest several novel aspects that a system of registration, especially that of pre-registration, should offer if it were to truly make a substantial contribution to increasing quality and reducing waste in ecological research. We survey and review the evidence from other fields on whether registration reduces research waste. The evidence largely comes from medicine, where registries of studies have been in substantial use since 2000. With this Perspective we specifically aim to encourage funders, publishers, and research institutions to support researchers in adopting registration. To facilitate support, we suggest short- and long-term actions that could increase registration in ecology and reduce research waste.



Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, Psychology, Social and Behavioral Sciences



Published: 2024-06-04 06:46


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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