Preregistration posters

Preregistration posters

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What are preregistration posters?

Preregistration posters give the opportunity to submit plans for studies yet to be undertaken, rather than work that has already been completed. They are an important tool for increasing the quality and credibility of your research - find out more at our Credibility in Neuroscience website, and, in particular, our toolkit for preregistration posters.

Why do we encourage preregistration posters?

The aims of having preregistration posters at the Festival include:


How do I know that preregistration posters are effective ways to discuss my plans for research?

For the BNA2019 Festival of Neuroscience - the first Festival to have preregistration posters and (we think) the first ever major neuroscience conference to do so - we carried out a project to evaluate a number of their features, including how many people interacted with preregistration posters and whether they were valuable for the presenter.  This showed that they were good for:

  • Gaining valuable feedback: enabling researchers to get feedback on their work at early stages.
  • Promoting open science: using tools that help transform attitudes towards open science.
  • Supporting Early Career Researchers

These findings were subsequently published in Nature Human Behaviour

How do I submit a preregistration poster abstract?

Please use the same abstract submission portal as all other poster abstracts for BNA2023 (see abstract submission guidelines).  During the submission process you will be given the choice of submitting a traditional or preregistration poster. 

What should I include in a preregistration poster abstract?

Abstracts for preregistration posters should describe planned studies – studies that are only planned at the time of submission.  They must include the following sections:

  • Introduction (background, context, and reasons for carrying out the study etc)
  • Methods (how the hypothesis will be tested) 
  • Approach for statistical analysis (what are the primary outcomes, how the data be analysed, what statistical tests will be used etc)

What if I want to go ahead with the planned research, described in my abstract, prior to presenting my poster at the Festival?

We would encourage you to present your research at a relatively early stage, since this will give you the chance to get feedback and suggestions on how best to complete data collection and what statistical analysis to carry out.  You may also have the opportunity to form collaborations and increase the size and power of your dataset.

However, clearly you need to continue working on research projects such that you meet expectations of your lab and any other factors influencing their progress - i.e. do not stop working on the project for which you have submitted a Preregistration Abstract simply so that you can present it as unfinished work.

When it comes to preparing your poster, please therefore include any data you have collected since submitting the abstract, and any initial statistical analysis or conclusions you have drawn.  Please do *not* rush your work in order to present a completed set of results and conclusions. 

Please note that the research described in your abstract must always be the same as that you present at the Festival, whether it is for a standard or preregistration poster.


Where can I find out more about preregistration posters?

Please check out our Credibility in Neuroscience website, and, in particular, our toolkit for preregistration posters. 

We have referred to the paper below when drawing up plans for preregistration posters.  Please note that the criteria and process for BNA2023 posters are not the same as that described in the paper by Tibon et al! - We are running a modified version of the proposal they describe. 

Title TBA: Revising the Abstract Submission Process

Roni Tibon; MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Open Science Committee; and Richard Henson

Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 22, Issue 4, April 2018, Pages 271-274
February 23, 2018


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