Prespecifying an analysis plan

I sometimes hear people complain about having to prespecify an analysis because they feel locked into it. People will say it limits their creativity. I just wanted to write this to say that, to me, the prespecified analysis plan is only meant to demonstrate what would have been the analysis plan before seeing any of the data. It’s possible to change part of the analysis as long as there’s good reasons for it. In the end, the prespecified analysis isn’t meant to limit the researcher, but instead, to force the research to explain any deviation from the original plan.

Jeremy A. Labrecque
Epidemiology and causal inference

My research is on how we know what we know.