Registry for Randomized Controlled Trials
The American Economic Association operates a registry for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). Registration of RCTs is required for all applicable submissions. If the research in your paper involves an RCT, please register (registration is free) prior to submitting. We also kindly ask you to acknowledge compliance by including your RCT ID number in the introductory footnote of your manuscript. Registration ideally happens before the project launches, but registering at the time of submission is also acceptable.
On the RCT registry, you can register your forthcoming, ongoing, or even completed RCTs, with as little or as many details as you wish. The site will also permit you to store and make publicly-available additional information on your RCTs (reports, articles, data, and code). We believe that this will prove to be a very valuable resource for investigators to share their work and the site will be widely used by those who wish to find out about on-going and completed studies.
The registry is characterized by:
- Simplicity and flexibility: Registering a trial is straightforward with only a minimal number of required fields. There is considerable flexibility to provide additional material at the time of registration or at any point in the life of the study. Materials can also be hidden from public view until completion of the study, or be made accessible only with the permission of the PI.
- Adjustability and memory: Any registry entry can be amended by the PI at any point, but the registry keeps track of all versions.
- Ability to work as a research portal for your RCTs: The registry can serve as an access point for collaborators, other scholars, students, and the general public providing links to data sets, survey instruments, experimental findings, and experimental protocols.
To register a trial, the PI simply needs to enter the following information: PI name, project title, study location, project status, keyword(s), abstract, trial start and end dates, intervention start and end dates, proposed outcome(s), experimental design, whether the treatment is clustered, planned number of clusters, planned number of observations, and IRB information. Optional fields allowing the PI to customize and enhance the information made available include details on sponsors and partners, survey instruments, an analysis plan, and other supporting documents. Help is available if the PI encounters any problem.
The AEA registry system will provide the PI with reminders to update the registration of an RCT at appropriate points in the trial's lifecycle. For example, the submitted end date will trigger an email asking the PI to enter post-trial information. If the trial has been extended, the PI can update the trial with the new end date.
We encourage you to explore the registry and to register your RCTs.
The committee on the registry for social experiments
Larry Katz (chair)