Agreements and FAQs

Data Request Agreements

The Global Flourishing Study is designed to be a model of transparency, sharing, and rigor. It employs best practices for: (1) maximizing rigor of testing hypotheses using preregistration and Registered Reports; (2) maximizing openness and reusability of research materials, surveys, and data; (3) facilitating safe and secure access to sensitive data through appropriate ethical review and approval; and (4) minimizing publication bias by promoting reporting of all preregistered analyses using the datasets and open availability of all reports by publishing open access or sharing green open access on preprint services. To that end, you will need to confirm that you will adhere to the data request agreements described in the next section when you complete your preregistration. 

By submitting this preregistration and requesting access to the Global Flourishing Study data, you agree to the following statements (you may opt out of the final survey question). If you do not feel comfortable agreeing to these terms to gain access to the GFS study data, please do not assert you are and do not submit this registration. You may contact to discuss your concerns.

  • By submitting the registration to the GFS Registry, I consent to communications from the GFS Registry operators
  • By submitting this registration to the GFS Registry I confirm my agreement with the data request agreements found in this list.
  • I confirm that all listed collaborators who will have access to any sensitive data have IRB approval to do so.
  • All data that are provided to me are for my use only. I will keep these data private from other researchers, except those added as contributors on this preregistration form (until these data are publicly available on the Open Science Framework).
  • I will use these data to test for my preregistered hypotheses only (until these data are publicly available on the Open Science Framework). I will return to the Open Science Framework and preregister any additional hypotheses.
  • In order to request future waves of data, I will be required to report certain outcomes from my previous data use including, but not limited to: derived data, analysis code, DOI links to publications, links to preprints.
  • Except when not possible, I will post preprints to the appropriate or relevant preprint server (e.g., SocArXiv, medRxiv, bioRxiv, and PsyArXiv).
  • I will cite the GFS dataset hosted on the Open Science Framework (OSF) ( in any publications (including, but not limited to peer reviewed journal publications, preprints, preregistration, media articles, blog articles, etc) in a format that includes the GFS project DOI (
  • I confirm that the email address associated with my OSF user account is the address to which to send the data files for me to access. If this is not the case, please add an alternative email address to your OSF profile and make it the primary address for your account. See the help guide for more information.
  • I agree to be contacted about participating in a survey about my experience with the GFS project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Global Flourishing Study (GFS) Registry?

The GFS Registry is a scholarly repository built for archiving, sharing, searching, and aggregating research plans, designs, data, and outcomes about the Global Flourishing Study. It is housed on the Open Science Framework (OSF) and operated by the Center for Open Science (COS). Custom templates on the Registry ensure that registrations are fit-for-purpose to increase research rigor and accelerate adoption of preregistration, data and sharing management plans, and other research planning behaviors.

I am new to the concept of preregistration and Registered Reports. How can I find out more?

We have prepared training materials and other resources to provide an introduction to preregistration, study registries, and registered reports. You can find the resources on the ‘Open Science Resources’ tab of the website or use this link

Where can I learn more about the GFS survey questions and how the survey was developed?

To learn more about the development of the survey please review the Questionnaire Development Report, Methodology Report, and Translation Document

What is the distribution of participants across countries?

Please refer to the Methodology Report, Appendix 1: Country Dataset Details. 

Do some of the individual questions come from validated questionnaires?
Was the GFS data collected using informed consent practices?

Gallup has a strong commitment to ethics in research. Gallup maintains an integrated Human Research Protection Program (HRPP), which oversees and supports the Institutional Review Board. Gallup’s IRB ensured all informed consent language used in the Global Flourishing Study met the ethical and legal requirements for human subjects research of this nature.

What is a Registered Report and why should I do one?

Registered Reports is a publishing format that emphasizes the importance of the research question and the quality of methodology by conducting peer review prior to collecting or observing study data. High quality protocols are provisionally accepted for publication before the data has been observed and analyzed. This publishing format is designed to reward best practice in adhering to the hypothetico-deductive model of the scientific method. It helps reduce a variety of questionable research practices, including low statistical power, selective reporting of results, and publication bias, while allowing complete flexibility to conduct unplanned (exploratory, unregistered) analyses and report serendipitous findings.

Authors of Registered Reports initially submit a Stage 1 manuscript that includes an introduction, methods, and the results of any pilot experiments or sample data that motivate the research proposal. Following assessment of the protocol by editors and reviewers, the manuscript can then be offered in-principle acceptance (IPA), which means that the journal virtually guarantees publication if the authors conduct the experiment in accordance with their approved protocol. With IPA in hand, the researchers then implement the experiment. Following observing and analyzing the data as outlined in Stage 1, they resubmit a Stage 2 manuscript that includes the introduction and methods from the original submission plus the results and discussion. The results section includes the outcome of the preregistered analyses together with any additional unregistered analyses in a separate section titled “Exploratory Analyses”. The final article is published after this process is complete. A published Registered Report will appear very similar to a standard research report but will give readers greater confidence that the hypotheses and main analyses have been conducted in a manner that has aimed to reduce the impact of questionable research practices or biases. 

For more information about Registered Reports, read this overview and Part IV: The Benefits of Registered Reports

Where can I find a list of journals that accept Registered Reports?

A list of journals that could be applicable to the GFS is here. A complete list of journals offering Registered Reports can also be found on the COS website.

Can I access the data before I get In Principle Acceptance (IPA) on my Registered Report submission?

Your ability to submit a Registered Report to a journal may be limited once access to the data has been granted. If you have already submitted your Stage 1 manuscript for review at a journal, but have not received IPA yet, please reach out to the journal you are working with to discuss their rules about data viewing before IPA has been granted.

How does the Registered Reports approach guarantee that researchers have in-principle acceptance before conducting the experiment and analyzing the data? Is it totally based on trust between researchers and the journal, or is it trackable?

Get your in-principle acceptance from the journal prior to requesting access to the wave 1 data. COS relies upon researchers to be ethical with this process and will not police whether the workflow has been followed, however, all preregistrations are time stamped and COS will have a note of the date data links are sent to researchers. 

What do I do if my Registered Report is not accepted with in-principle acceptance?

If your Registered Report is not accepted at a journal, you are welcome to submit your study as a Registered Report at another participating journal. Alternatively, you can preregister your study without journal involvement and follow that route with your research. While this will mean you are not guaranteed publication after your research is conducted, your research will still carry all of the benefits of preregistration.

What is a preregistration and why do I need to complete one to access Wave 1 data?

Preregistration is required for access to the randomized sample data and early access to Wave 1 data. This will create a read-only, time-stamped, copy of a research plan completed before you begin your research. Preregistration carries a number of benefits to researchers and the research community. Not only does it clarify how the data will be used, it will also allow the research community to know what research questions are being pursued, allowing increased collaboration and reduced duplication of efforts. Additionally, it helps clarify the distinction between planned and unplanned research. Preregistering for GFS data access is important because it will increase the discoverability of research and will maximize the benefit of this valuable dataset.

What do I need to prepare for my preregistration?

You can view sample data that has been randomized and perturbed here. You can also access randomized sample data once you have completed a preregistration. Use the codebook, Sample Dataset, Guide to Preregistration, and Preregistration Template to help you build your preregistration. 

Is there a way for us to see what preregistrations already exist?

All preregistrations that are ‘public’ in the registry but some researchers have opted to apply an embargo to their preregistrations. They will not be public facing until the embargo has expired. 

Why do I need to use a comparative dataset or retrospective childhood assessments for Wave 1 data early access?

One purpose of the GFS is to provide longitudinal data to enable more rigorous research designs for many research questions than can be investigated with cross-sectional data. For this first wave release, the benefits of longitudinal data are not yet present in the data itself. To meet this purpose, researchers should construct a synthetic longitudinal study either by linking the GFS data to other datasets or by using the retrospective childhood assessments within the wave 1 data. At least one of the questions or hypotheses should then be tested with this synthetic longitudinal design. Find a list of comparative datasets here.

The information required about the comparative dataset for the preregistration can be found in the Guide to Preregistration and Preregistration Template

Why do I need to adhere to the agreements in the preregistration?

The Global Flourishing Study is designed to be a model of transparency, sharing, and rigor. It employs best practices for: (1) maximizing rigor of testing hypotheses using preregistration and Registered Reports; (2) maximizing openness and reusability of research materials, surveys, and data; (3) facilitating safe and secure access to sensitive data through appropriate ethical review and approval; and (4) minimizing publication bias by promoting reporting of all preregistered analyses using the datasets and open availability of all reports by publishing open access or sharing green open access on preprint services.

A requirement for accessing the data prior to its open release will be a commitment to report back about the outcomes of the analysis and to share any reports openly, either by publishing in an open access journal or by posting the reports to a preprint/postprint sharing service such as bioRxiv, SocArXiv, PsyArXiv, or medRxiv. You will be expected to post preprints prior to publication, but sharing as a postprint will be acceptable in the event that the journal you are submitting to for publication disallows preprints (you can review all journal policies at Sherpa Services). 

Do you have an example of a preregistration and a Registered Report on the OSF?

Here is a preregistration example and a Registered Report example.

After preregistration, do I get all variables in the real data or only the variables I requested in the preregistration?

You will receive all variables in the real data.

How can I update my preregistration?

You can find details on page 27 of the Guide to Preregistration on the GFS Registry and in the Updating your Peregistration slides.

What are some other ways I can engage in open science practices while conducting research with these data?

Preregistering your research is an impactful way to increase the discoverability and rigor of your research (learn more here: preregistration), but there are many additional ways throughout the research lifecycle to emphasize openness, transparency, and reproducibility in your work. Learn more about the OSF, OSF projects, and preprints.

How can I access the codebook?

The codebook can be accessed here

Why are there two sample datasets?

You are welcome to use both or neither sample datasets to aid you in designing your research project and preregistration. You must not publish based upon the sample dataset since figures have been altered. The dataset accessed through the website is randomized and perturbed and can be used to develop your preregistration. Once your initial preregistration is submitted, you will be able to access the sample data with randomization only. You can then amend or complete the rest of your preregistration to access the full dataset or separate countries. Read more about the Sample Data Perturbation and Randomization Methods.

How is the Global Flourishing dataset cut?

For each wave, you can request the full dataset (global) or by specific country depending upon your analysis needs. 

How can researchers access the data before it is publicly available?

You can apply for data access by preregistering your analysis plans in the Global Flourishing Study Registry housed on the Open Science Framework (OSF). You can access a copy of the preregistration template here and a guide to help you complete the template here.

When will the Global Flourishing data be made publicly available?

Sample data and Wave 1 are available now. Public access to the Wave 1 data without a preregistration will be approximately one year later. If you have submitted a preregistration for sample data, you will need to update your registration to request Wave 1 data.

Will the data be available in a variety of file types?

Wave 1 data is available in .csv, .dta, and .sav formats.

Do I need ethical approval (e.g., Institutional Review Board (IRB)) approval to work with this data?

It depends. To access the non-sensitive data, please follow your institution’s best practices regarding secondary data analysis.

Please note that the sample and Wave 1 data releases will contain non-sensitive variables only (refer to codebook for variables). There may be additional metadata and variables released at a later date that will require ethical approval (e.g., Institutional Review Board (IRB)) to access. Examples of sensitive data may include the following:

  1. Geographic data
    Latitude and longitude of the respondent at each point of data collection, aggregated to a higher level (likely to be to the 0 decimal level)
  2. Demographic information (interviewer)
    Interviewer’s age, gender, education, and religious affiliation.
  3. Panel membership
    Information such as date of recruitment (length of tenure on the panel), number of survey invitations and number of surveys completed in the last six months (if more than one survey was conducted), time to complete the survey, number of contacts, type of recruitment, and incentive payments. 

To access sensitive data, ethical approval is required by the researcher’s home institution. When applying to work with sensitive data, you will be asked to upload your ethical review committee name, link to ethical review committee website, ethical review committee approval number, and approval letter. You will also need to verify that all listed collaborators that will have access to the data have ethical review committee approval to do so.  It is your responsibility to determine whether you need IRB approval for the comparative dataset you choose to use. Learn more about data sharing for demographic research. 

What materials are available to me while I am preparing my preregistration?
I am a journalist looking to write a piece using data from the Global Flourishing Study. How can I access these data?

For descriptive, non-academic uses, data journalists, policymakers, and others may obtain access during the controlled access period if they meet a qualified use case of descriptive reporting for non-academic purposes. Please email your request directly to

How will my preregistration be reviewed?

The purpose of the preregistration review is to ensure that:

  • The form is complete and meets standards for a quality preregistration
  • Ethical review (e.g., IRB) information is in place where sensitive data is requested
  • A comparative dataset or retrospective childhood assessments are is being used for Wave 1 data
  • There is sensical information on the study such that predictions/hypotheses are clear enough to distinguish between planned and unplanned analyses at publication

The moderator will use the information provided to the researcher in the template, the Guide to Preregistration , and the codebook. Please note that the process is not an academic peer review. View the Preregistration Review Rubric.

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