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In 2017 the GRAND program supported the Nicotine & Tobacco Research (NTR) journal to pilot a new initiative. Applicants were asked if they would like to opt into this pilot.
The applicant’s decision on whether or not to opt into this pilot had no bearing on the decision-making process for a GRAND award. Applicants were also able to withdraw from the pilot at any time without this affecting the funding decision.
Applicants who chose to opt into this pilot had their grant proposal reviewed according to the GRAND review process, the same as all the other applicants. If they were selected for funding, their proposal was provided to NTR, and if the topic was within the scope of the journal, the applicants were invited to submit their proposal to the journal as a Registered Report. More details of the Registered Reports format, including the workflow, are available here: https://cos.io/rr/.
In brief, Registered Reports emphasized the importance of the research question and the quality of methodology by conducting peer review prior to data collection. High quality protocols were then provisionally accepted for publication if the authors followed through with the registered methodology and the final manuscript met the Journal’s requirements and standards for publication. This format was designed to reward best practices and eliminate various biases such as publication bias.
Successful GRAND applicants who opted into the pilot prepared and submitted a Stage 1 manuscript (comprising the introduction and methods). Following assessment of this protocol by the NTR editors and reviewers (that may have included the GRAND reviewer of the application), the manuscript could then be offered “in principle acceptance,” which meant that NTR had provisionally accepted the manuscript for publication, as long as the authors conducted the experiment in accordance with their approved protocol and the final manuscript met NTR’s requirements and standards for publication.