Health Economics journals should allow Registered Reports for peer review

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Health economics uses experimental and quasi-experimental approaches, which are critical to the understanding of health behaviours, clinical preferences and policy evaluation. A problem for the discipline is that the publication process creates a potential bias in that novel positive findings are more likely to be published than well-conducted studies that produce negative results.

Registered reports are a new approach to journal peer-review, which involves blinding peer reviewers to the results when considering the merits of an experiment. Using registered reports, experimental studies of merit are provisionally accepted by journals who commit to publishing the full study including the results regardless of study findings (provided the experiment was conducted in accordance with the protocol).

We would urge editors of all health economic journals to allow researchers to submit Registered Reports for experimental research alongside more traditional methods of peer-review.

For more details, see

We are grateful to those who have agreed to endorse this petition:
Professor Adrian Barnett, Queensland University of Technology
Dr Chris McCabe, Director of the Institute of Health Economics, Canada
Professor Philip Clarke, University of Oxford and University of Melbourne
Professor Paul Frijters, London School of Economics
Professor Nick Graves, Duke National University of Singapore
Professor Magnus Johanneson, Stockholm School of Economics
Professor Donald Kenkel, Cornell University
Professor Emma McIntosch, Glasgow University
Professor Aki Tsuchiya, University of Sheffield

This has been discussed recently in the academic health economists' blog, see