The Journal of Trial and Error is designed to close the gap between what is published and what is researched. We stand by the call for transparency of the Open Science movement and are concerned about the replicability crisis and the publication pressures that researchers face — especially junior investigators — in their pursuit of a career in science.

Here we have compiled a series of frequently asked questions.

What is the scope of our journal?

We welcome articles from all the branches of research: from psychology to history, from economics to biomedical sciences.

So, do you publish only ‘scientific’ articles?

No, we publish also the Trial and Error process of social science and humanities research. If you are in doubt about whether your research meets JOTE standards, simply send us an email.

What are the APCs (article-processing fees)?

JOTE does not charge processing fees (Diamond OA). We have been funded by the Utrecht University Funds and the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science and the Humanities and will continue to work hard to acquire funding so that young researchers and those who cannot afford APCs will always be able submit to JOTE.

How is JOTE indexed? Are the articles searchable in databases like Google Scholar?

We assign DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) to all our articles, which allows them to be cited and found easily in databases such as Google Scholar. See for instance, Our ISSN (Online) is 2667-1204.

What are the subscription costs?

JOTE is and will always be an Open Access journal.

Who can contribute?

We welcome contributors from all sorts, but are currently encouraging authors in early-career stages, including late master students, PhD candidates, and post-docs. 

Who reviews the manuscripts that we receive (peer-review)?

Our editorial team assigns to each manuscript to three scientists in the appropriate field to review the content and scientific quality of the work. The reviewers treat the manuscript and scrutinise the validity of the results by the standards of the discipline and the methods used. We use a double-bind system (both authors and reviewers do not know the identities of each other until publication).

The manuscript’s quality will be evaluated based on whether the work makes a noticeable contribution to the scientific community, independently from the confirmation of the initial hypothesis.

We are committed to having a transparent and open review process. If the article is accepted, we publish the peer review together with the manuscript.

How often does JOTE publish? What are rolling articles?

At JOTE, we publish continuously, and once a year we release a general issue containing approximately 20 articles.

In order to reduce article-processing times (from submission until publication), we release the pieces as rolling articles on our interactive repository as soon as they have been peer-reviewed and accepted by the editorial team. These rolling articles are in their final form and are database-searchable and citable. Once a year, we collect these and ‘bind them’ (electronically) in an issue, and each article is assigned a page number within it.

What kind of content do we publish?

JOTE publishes four formats, two of them in interdisciplinary dialogue.

Empirical Articles

With these pieces, authors illustrate conceptual developments based on empirical and experimental studies which have produced null, unexpected, negative or mixed results. JOTE also welcomes incomplete findings or those reports without a closed, cohesive narrative.

See for instance:
Leboeuf, J., Linden-Andersen, S., & Carriere, J. (2020). Alcohol Cues and their Effects on Sexually Aggressive Thoughts. Journal of Trial and Error. (10.36850/e1)

Reflection Articles

For each empirical article, JOTE invites third-party researchers to reflect on and contextualise the issues raised in the original study. JOTE welcomes reflections from experience (senior researchers from the same field as the experimental paper may, for example, comment how the methodologies fit in the larger scheme of the discipline), reflection of the practices (Science and Technology Studies, Sociology of Scientific Knowledge), and reflection of the foundations (History and Philosophy of Science).

See for instance:
Ruud Abma’s analysis of Leboeuf’s failed reproduction of a psychological experiment: Abma, R. (2020). Experiment and Fail. Journal of Trial and Error. (10.36850/r1)

Meta-Research Articles

This category of articles illustrates the pluralism of approaches in studying research itself. Meta-science, Research on Research, Science Studies, General Philosophy of Science, Science of Science – these are different independent disciplines who produce original investigations on research, “its methods, reporting, reproducibility, evaluation, and incentives.” JOTE welcomes reports of methodological challenges, suggestions, or technical flaws that carry relevant information (advice on the do’s and don’ts) for the field to which they belong. As well, we welcome studies that deal with the processes of Trial and Error at a broader level, such as on publications biases or reproducibility.

See for instance:
De Groot, K. Burst Beliefs – Methodological Problems in the Balloon Analogue Risk Task and Implications for Its Use. Journal of Trial and Error. (10.36850/mr1)

Rejected Grant Applications

JOTE welcomes all rejected grant applications for three reasons. First, they are valuable in and of themselves as pieces of preliminary research. Second, they contain metadata that catalogue the ideas, hypotheses, and theoretical perspectives within an academic field. Third, they offer historians insight into the non-linear development of scientific ideas and can therefore be used as metadata on the trends and biases in the process of awarding grants. To stimulate (comparative) research, JOTE applies a unifying template to all the grant applications. To maximise transparency, JOTE also publishes the reviewer’s comments, rebuttal, and decision without changing the content, unless the anonymity of a reviewer cannot be guaranteed.

See for instance: Bekkers, R. Global Giving. Journal of Trial and Error. (10.36850/rga2)

Do you have any more questions?

Don’t hesitate to contact us at