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Research Open Science Open Research Award

The only pre-registration of a master thesis project

Dina Sarsembayeva, MA Student, GSMS

Open Research objectives

In case of my exploratory study, I wanted to increase transparency of my research aims and methods, and control for any future modifications given that it is easier to deviate from the predefined plan. It also would help me specify my research plan in more detail while following a checklist for pre-registration on the Open Science Framework, so I made my methods more solid and reproducible.


During my research masters (CPE), I was working on my master thesis. At the ICPE, where I did my research, Open Science practices are rather popular so I wanted to be part of this community which I think is solving a lot of current problems that we face in science. I have joined several meetings concerning pre-registering studies and then had some more online research to find out how to pre-register exploratory studies which happens much more rarely. I was lucky to have the ReproducibiliTea team help me when I had questions, so I successfully registered my study plan on the Open Science Framework. It helped me not only develop some useful skills and contribute to the open science initiative but I could also use this document as a structured guide to complete my thesis in time.


I really enjoyed the ReproducibiliTea meetings at the UMCG, and wanted to integrate the new knowledge into practice. As none of my peers in the masters pre-registered their study, I felt that it is important to be a pioneer there to maybe gain experience and show that it is very doable to the future master students doing research.

Lessons learned

Overall, it was surprisingly easy for me to figure out this new skill. This was mainly due to the help of the UMCG's Open Science community and workshops, as well as my supervisors who agreed to let me spend time on this activity that wasn't necessary for my thesis course. It was tricky to find guides on how to pre-register exploratory research and I needed to think harder on how to describe my methods in detail but still leaving enough space for unpredictable turns during the analyses which I simply could not know at the time. I found it really convenient that when the study was pre-registered, I could already use this link for telling people about my project and that other researchers can see what we're doing in my team. It was curious to me that none of my master groupmates used any open science practices, so I was even more motivated to try as I could see that only my own example could encourage the future students to maybe implement this activity to their project too. In the end, I've gained a nice skill for my PhD and plan to stick to the open science methods further.

URLs, references and further information

Last modified:16 March 2022 11.23 a.m.