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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

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

  1. Research article

    Consequences of child emotional abuse, emotional neglect and exposure to intimate partner violence for eating disorders: a systematic critical review

    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...

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

    BMC Psychology 2017 5:33

    Published on: 22 September 2017

  2. Research article

    Population levels of wellbeing and the association with social capital

    This research investigates wellbeing at the population level across demographic, social and health indicators and assesses the association between wellbeing and social capital.

    A. W. Taylor, G. Kelly, E. Dal Grande, D. Kelly, T. Marin, N. Hey, K. J. Burke and J. Licinio

    BMC Psychology 2017 5:23

    Published on: 3 July 2017

  3. Research article

    Effects of muscle dysmorphia, social comparisons and body schema priming on desire for social interaction: an experimental approach

    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...

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

    BMC Psychology 2017 5:19

    Published on: 15 June 2017