Registry for Parapsychological Experiments

Prospective registration of experiments is very valuable for controversial research areas such as parapsychology. Registration greatly increases the reliability and confidence for reviews or meta-analyses of a line of research. The registered experiments provide a database that is not subject to possible reporting or publication biases. Registration also increases confidence by providing clear evidence that the key hypotheses and analyses were planned prior to conducting the experiment. This documented planning of experiments enhances the methodological quality for an area of research. In medical research, prospective, public registration of experimental studies is increasingly required as a condition for publication and for regulatory compliance. The registrations must be publicly accessible on a study registry before data collection starts.

The KPU Registry for Parapsychological Experiments is a simple registry that makes the provided information publicly available. It offers researchers, reviewers, editors and others the ability to identify studies that were planned for a line of research and to verify that a study report matches the pre-registered information.

We hope that more channels for pre-registration will become available and plan to provide information about them. OpenScienceFramework (OSF) offers an option described as study registration among their online processes for managing scientific documents, data, and collaboration. However, in several important aspects OSF currently falls short as a study registry. For example, an experimenter can analyze the results before deciding whether to make the study and/or registration public — which could allow unfavourable results to be left unreported. We expect that eventually other study registries will become available for the social sciences.

About the KPU Registry

The KPU Registry for Parapsychological Experiments is primarily intended for confirmatory experiments, but exploratory experiments can also be registered. Registration should be done prior to testing the first participant, but late registration is preferred to no registration. The information sent in for registration will be placed on this website for public viewing and tracking. Please click here to see the registered studies.

The minimum contents for registration of an experiment are:

1. The title or name of the experiment (for listing the experiment in the registry).

2. The name, affiliation, and email address for the lead experimenter(s) for the study.

3. A short description or abstract of the purpose and design of the experiment.

4. A statement or list of the specific hypothesis or hypotheses being tested, and whether each hypothesis is confirmatory or exploratory. A discussion of confirmatory and exploratory analyses is provided here.

5. The planned number of participants and the number of trials per participant.

6. A statement that the registration is submitted prior to testing the first participant, or indicating the number of participants tested when the registration (or revision to the registration) was submitted.

In addition to this minimum content, further information is highly recommended, particularly for well-planned confirmatory experiments.  The additional information includes:

7. The specific statistical test method that is planned for each hypothesis, including dependent and independent variables, any data transformations or adjustments, any criteria for excluding or deleting data, which statistical test will be used, whether the statistical test (or confidence interval) is one or two-tailed, whether the unit of analysis is the participant or the individual random event, what p value (or confidence interval level) is considered significant, and any adjustment for multiple analyses.

8. The power analysis or other justification for the number of participants and trials.

9. The methods for randomization in the experiment.

10. A detailed description of the experimental procedure.

This template can be used to provide study information. The registration information (in English, please) should be submitted in Word format and sent as an attachment to an email to Caroline Watt. After the submitted document has been reviewed for consistency with registration requirements, Dr Watt will add to the Word file the registry ID number and date received, and then will save the file as a PDF whose filename includes the ID number. A registration can be revised, but the initial and revised version will both be posted if the revision is after the first participant has been tested.

The KPU Registry will also post information about the results of a registered study if the experimenter provides that information. We encourage experimenters to provide the abstract and reference when a registered study is published. Experimenters may also provide a summary of the results of a registered study prior to publication. The information should be emailed to Caroline Watt as a document in Word format or as a URL to another website.

This study registry is operated following these Standard Operating Procedures.