Author Guidelines


Preparing your submission

To avoid confusion, please use the future tense for writing the methods section. Beyond that, there are no strict formatting requirements as long as the style is consistent. We advise to embed figures and tables as well as their corresponding caption in the text of the protocol, rather than at the bottom or in a separate file.

Protocol composition

Please note that including the following elements in your submission is optional for preparing your protocol for the Repository Track but mandatory for protocols submitted to the Lab Track. Further see the Materials & Downloads section for structured templates for creating a protocol.

Title page

The title page must contain a tentative title of the article. Please do not include any form of identification (e. g. authors names) on the title page for submissions to the Lab Track as protocols need to be anonymized for peer review. Author(s) name(s) and their affiliations, the corresponding author's name, email, and physical address for correspondence need to be entered when you click through the online submission system.


An abstract of not more than 300 words must accompany each protocol. The abstract should state what will be done and why, and which hypotheses exist about the outcomes.


Include 3 to 5 keywords relevant to the article. You can include them in your study protocol or just enter them when you click through the online submission system.


Provide a brief overview of the scope and relevance of the study, especially with regard to previous advancements in related fields.

Materials and methods

Describe the materials and methods in sufficient detail, so that your study can be most easily replicated by others. This encompasses the experimental design including all dependent and independent variables and their conceptualization (if applicable), also the procedure, conditions, randomization plan etc. Provide an analysis plan consisting of a (numbered) list of all hypotheses and describing in detail how each hypothesis will be analysed (which units/variables will be analysed by which tests). State criteria for data exclusion or other forms of preprocessing you plan to conduct. Include information about the targeted sample size and how it was determined. For further information and helpful materials, e. g. a submission checklist and templates, go to the Materials & Downloads section.

All protocols that are submitted to the Lab Track must contain an explicit statement that the protocols were or will be submitted to an ethical review board or committee. Data collection through PsychLab cannot begin before ethical approval has been provided.

Submission process

Submit your protocol here. Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your metadata and uploading your files. For submissions to the Lab Track, all correspondence is saved in your account and additionally sent by email.

After acceptance

Accepted submissions are eligible for a free-of-charge data collection by ZPID’s PsychLab online or PsychLab offline. Before the collection of data can commence, approval by an institutional or independent ethics committee needs to be obtained. Moreover, the material needed for data collection (e. g. an implemented web-based survey or experimental code for an eye tracking experiment) needs to be provided by the authors.

PsychLab online: Data collection by using an online access panel

Once your submission has been accepted and the required materials are on hand, we will bring you in contact with a panel provider. ZPID will be responsible for financing your sample but remaining details about the implementation will be discussed between you and an assigned project manager working for the panel provider. Every project is different but for a conventional online survey, expect the following steps:

  • The project manager sends you redirect links (e. g. screen-out, quota-full, completed) and asks you to include them in your survey. These links redirect panelists to the access panel and are important for the pay-out of incentives.
  • The project manager will test the implementation of the redirect links. Then, the link to your survey will be send to a small number of participants (soft launch).
  • If everything works just fine, the survey will proceed to full launch.

Collecting data from a sample of 500 to 1000 panelists reflecting the German or British population in terms of age, gender, economic status, and education level takes about one or two weeks.

PsychLab offline: Data collection in our lab in Trier

Upon acceptance of your protocol we prepare our lab for implementing your study. This involves setting up your code (or any experimental program) to run it on the local hardware and the recruitment of participants. Once your study has been approved by an ethics committee, we will initiate the data collection. Contact us via PreReg(at) with the specifics of your planned study to ask about an estimate of the time it will take until the data collection will be completed.

After data collection

Authors are responsible to publish the (anonymized) data collected via PsychLab in PsychArchives either immediately or after an embargo period. Please have that in mind when writing the consent form for your study.