How to write a study protocol
Study protocols report planned or ongoing research; we’ll consider publishing your protocol only if the data collection is still in progress (i.e. not complete).
Why publish study protocols?
- Keep researchers and funding bodies up-to-date in their fields
- Give exposure to research activity that otherwise may not get publicised
- Enable more collaboration in the research community
- Prevent unnecessary duplication of work
- Increase transparency by making more information available than required by trial registries
- Give others the opportunity to see and understand deviations that occur during the study
If your protocol is for a randomized trial
We encourage authors to adhere to the SPIRIT recommendations.
The SPIRIT (Standard Protocol Items for Randomized Trials) statement is an evidence-based tool developed through systematic review of a wide range of resources and consensus. It closely mirrors the CONSORT statement and reflects important ethical considerations.
If your protocol is for a systematic review or meta-analysis
We strongly encourage authors and assessors to use the PRISMA-P reporting guideline.
The PRISMA-P (preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols) checklist contains 17 items considered to be the essential and minimum components of systematic review or meta-analysis protocol.