Table of contents:

How do I register a trial?

To register a trial, you must first have a user account. See How to Register a Trial for more information.

Is registration free?

Currently, registration is free.

Can I hide information?

Select fields can be hidden/embargoed until the trial is completed so as to not influence survey respondents while the survey is in the field, or perturb a placebo effect. You can also upload confidential documents, which will never be shared unless you explicitly authorize it.

PIs and collaborators

Do I have to be the principal investigator in order to register a trial?

Any user can set up an account and register a trial. However, to identify the PIs associated with that trial, an e-mail confirmation will be sent to all listed PIs. We strongly advise that PIs review content before registration.

How do I give someone access to edit a registration?

Making someone a collaborator on a trial gives them access to edit the trial registration.

How do I add someone as a collaborator to my trial?

Adding someone as a collaborator to your trial allows them to do the following:

  1. Shares access which gives the other person access to edit all information in a trial
  2. Enables the ability to change a persons role from or to the Primary Investigator

To access the collaborators page and add another person’s account:

  1. Obtain the email address of the person you want to add as a collaborator. Make sure it is the email they used to register an account on the Registry. If they do not have an account, they will need to register for one.
  2. Navigate to the edit page of the trial you want to add someone to. You can access a list of your trials from the My Trials page.
  3. On the edit page of the trial you want to add the person to, click the Manage Collaborators link located at the top of the page. This takes you to the collaborators page.
  4. On the collaborators page, enter the name or email address from step 1 in the Add Collaborator field and click Save to submit the form.

If the email was incorrect or if an account with that email address does not exist, you will see an error message explaining the problem. If you have any problems, please contact us at

How do I make someone else the Primary Investigator of a trial?

To make someone else the Primary Investigator for a trial, they first must be added as a collaborator. Once they have been made a collaborator, select their name from the “Primary Investigator” drop down menu and click “Save.” They will now be listed as the Primary Investigator.

What happens if I lost access to my registred email?

In the event you lose access to the email you used to register your trial, first create a new account with an email you have access to. Then you have two options:

  1. Ask a fellow collaborator to add your new email address as a collaborator on the trial
  2. If you are the only PI/collaborator on the trial, feel free you reach us at to add you as a collaborator. Be sure to send us the AEA RCT Number along with a link to the trial you want to be added as a collaborator on.

Version history

How can I see whether a trial has been changed?

All edits are preserved and can be accessed on the “View Trial History” tab of any trial.

Can I make edits to my PAP?

Yes, you can make edits to your PAP. As noted above, when changes are made to the trial registry, a new version is created and the old version can be viewed by users. All edits are preserved and can be accessed on the ““View Trial History”” tab of any trial. However, when changes are made to uploaded documents users only see that the document has been changed, and would need to download and read both documents to discover where changes were made. For version control, we recomend doing the following:

  1. Using version control in your naming conventions for updated uploaded documents (e.g., ‘PAP_v2.1’)
  2. If there is a change between two versions you would like to highlight, add a line in the updated PAP briefly listing the changes made to the original document.

DOIs and citation

What is this DOI that is assigned to my registration?

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) provide persistent links to web content to ensure that the content is discoverable at all times – even if its URL or location within a site changes. DOIs are widely used across academia to provide permanent links to published journal articles as well as data. Read more about our process of adding DOIs to the registry.

What is DOI Versioning?

Each published change to a trial is given a new release number, and will be assigned a new DOI. For more about versioning DOIs, see our guidelines on what constitutes a major or minor change.

Which DOI should I cite in my paper?

Each trial registration entry has a master DOI and a DOI for each version registered. Unless you want to cite a specific version of your registry entry, you should cite the master DOI. The master DOI will always link to the current registry entry.

How should I cite my registration?

Upon registration, an auto-generated citation will appear on your public registered trial. You should always cite your registration, as this allows us to follow where references are made to the registration using standard citation tracking mechanisms. It’s only a suggested citation format, and when submitting to a journal you should consult with the journal for how to cite the registration. Otherwise, for in-text mentions, your registration can be referred to as: AEA RCT Registry, RCT ID: AEARCTR-0000000. For example, “This study is registered in the AEA RCT Registry and the unique identifying number is: AEARCTR-0000000.”

Is there a review process?

Yes, as of January 5, 2017, draft trials will be reviewed for criteria that must be met before a research project is published in the AEA RCT Registry. Researchers should review the criteria for inclusion in the AEA RCT Registry, and thoroughly inspect their entry before submitting their trial registration. The typical turnaround time for reviewing is 2 to 5 business days.

What if I want to publish in a medical / health journal?

This registry is for social scientists and is not an approved registry for clinical trials as defined by health journals. If you plan to publish in a health journal, you may want to also register at a clinical trial registry ICTRP.

How is each field explicitly defined?

Take a look at the data elements guide that defines each field.

Who developed the registry software?

The registry software was implemented by Vermonster, with prototype work by Ann Patrice Hickey, of Eden Design. The current maintainer is Eduardo Gutierrez.

Updates to the site

We publish updates to the site to document changes in behavior or the addition of new features.

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