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Results-free review: a new model of peer review

Openness and transparency are the pillars of scientific progress. However, there is a bias towards publishing positive results, distorting the evidence base and undermining the reproducibility of research. Results-free review offers a solution to this problem, focusing editorial decisions on the rationale and methods alone.


What is results-free review?
Results-free review is a new model of peer review, where editors and reviewers are blinded to the results. It happens in two stages:

Stage 1: Review of manuscript, excluding any results or discussion of results.

Stage 2: If accepted following Stage 1, review of complete manuscript to check the results and conclusions do not deviate unjustifiably from the research question and methodology.


How is it different to normal peer review?
All aspects of the peer-review process are the same (with the exception of Stage 1), including the questions for reviewers, criteria for publication and expected turnaround times. See our peer-review policies for more details.


How is it different to Registered Reports?
In Registered Reports, peer review of the study protocol is completed before any experiments are conducted. In results-free review, peer review occurs after the experiments are conducted, as is the case for traditional post-study peer review. We support the Registered Reports format and consider both approaches as complementary.


Why choose results-free review?

1.       It’s simple and you just need to opt in at submission

2.       Your manuscript is accepted in-principle before the results are reviewed

3.       It increases the credibility of your results

Your contribution to the future of peer review
The number of new publishing initiatives is on the rise. It is important that these are rigorously evaluated to ensure they are having the desired outcomes. In choosing results-free review, you are also contributing to our randomised-controlled trial in determining how it influences publication bias and the editorial decision-making process. If deemed effective, it is our hope that results-free review will become the ‘norm’ for peer review.


How do I submit?
Simply submit to BMC Psychology and click to opt-in to results-free review.

Need more information? Read our Editorial or contact us at bmcpsychol@biomedcentral.com


This collection brings together all articles in BMC Psychology that have undergone the results-free peer-review process as part of this trial.


  1. Content type: Results-Free Research Article

    Developmental Language disorders (DLD) are developmental disorders that can affect both expressive and receptive language. When severe and persistent, they are often associated with psychiatric comorbidities a...

    Authors: Adele Assous, Ayala Borghini, Maryse Levi-Rueff, Guy Rittori, Bérangère Rousselot-Pailley, Christelle Gosme, Franck Zigante, Bernard Golse, Bruno Falissard and Laurence Robel

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2018 6:54

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  2. Content type: Research article

    There is no generic psychotherapy outcome measure validated for Kenyan populations. The objective of this study was to test the acceptability and factor structure of the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation...

    Authors: Fredrik Falkenström, Manasi Kumar, Aiysha Zahid, Mary Kuria and Caleb Othieno

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2018 6:48

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  3. Content type: Research article

    Psychological distress with symptoms of depression and anxiety is common and unrecognized in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Efforts have been made to treat psychological distress in CAD with both...

    Authors: Oskar Lundgren, Peter Garvin, Margareta Kristenson, Lena Jonasson and Ingela Thylén

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2018 6:46

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  4. Content type: Research article

    Lack of formal education is an important social determinant of health inequality and represents a public health problem. School dropout is particularly common in vocational education; however few prevention pr...

    Authors: Susan Andersen, Morten Hulvej Rod, Teresa Holmberg, Liselotte Ingholt, Annette Kjær Ersbøll and Janne Schurmann Tolstrup

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2018 6:45

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  5. Content type: Research article

    Child maltreatment is becoming predominantly multi-type in nature. Studies report that multi-type child maltreatment is associated with low self-esteem in adolescence and adulthood. There is a lack of publishe...

    Authors: Adela A. Mwakanyamale, Dickson P. Wande and Yu Yizhen

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2018 6:35

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  6. Content type: Research article

    The effect of cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp) on the core symptoms of schizophrenia has proven contentious, with current meta-analyses finding at most only small effects. However, it has bee...

    Authors: Keith R. Laws, Nicole Darlington, Tejinder K. Kondel, Peter J. McKenna and Sameer Jauhar

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2018 6:32

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  7. Content type: Research article

    Depressive symptoms are a major comorbidity in older adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA). However, the type of activity-induced knee pain associated with depression has not been examined. Furthermore, there i...

    Authors: Hirotaka Iijima, Tomoki Aoyama, Naoto Fukutani, Takuya Isho, Yuko Yamamoto, Masakazu Hiraoka, Kazuyuki Miyanobu, Masashi Jinnouchi, Eishi Kaneda, Hiroshi Kuroki and Shuichi Matsuda

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2018 6:19

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  8. Content type: Research article

    Long-term conditions may negatively impact multiple aspects of quality of life including physical functioning and mental wellbeing. The rapid systematic review aimed to examine the effectiveness of psychologic...

    Authors: Niall Anderson and Gozde Ozakinci

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2018 6:11

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  9. Content type: Research article

    It remains unclear to what extent treatment-related gains in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms translate to improvements in broader domains of personal wellbeing, such as community connectedness, l...

    Authors: David Berle, Dominic Hilbrink, Clare Russell-Williams, Rachael Kiely, Laura Hardaker, Natasha Garwood, Anne Gilchrist and Zachary Steel

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2018 6:7

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  10. Content type: Research article

    Child maltreatment and eating disorders are significant public health problems. Yet, to date, research has focused on the role of child physical and sexual abuse in eating-related pathology. This is despite th...

    Authors: Melissa Kimber, Jill R. McTavish, Jennifer Couturier, Alison Boven, Sana Gill, Gina Dimitropoulos and Harriet L. MacMillan

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2017 5:33

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  11. Content type: Research article

    Muscle dysmorphia (MD) is a relatively young diagnosis referring to the desire for a high degree in lean muscle mass, while simultaneously believing that one is insufficiently muscular, mostly found in men. It...

    Authors: Catharina Schneider, Maria Agthe, Takuya Yanagida, Martin Voracek and Kristina Hennig-Fast

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2017 5:19

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  12. Content type: Research article

    Tableware size may influence how much food and non-alcoholic drink is consumed. Preliminary evidence of the impact of glass size on purchasing of alcoholic drinks shows an increase in wine sales of almost 10% ...

    Authors: Z. Zupan, R. Pechey, D. L. Couturier, G. J. Hollands and T. M. Marteau

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2017 5:17

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  13. Content type: Editorial

    The evidence that many of the findings in the published literature may be unreliable is compelling. There is an excess of positive results, often from studies with small sample sizes, or other methodological l...

    Authors: Katherine S. Button, Liz Bal, Anna Clark and Tim Shipley

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2016 4:59

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