JMIR Research Protocols

Ongoing trials and protocols, grant proposals, and current methods and approaches. 

Editor-in-Chief:

Tiffany I. Leung, MD, MPH, FACP, FAMIA, FEFIM, Scientific Editor, JMIR Publications, Ontario, Canada


Impact Factor 1.4 CiteScore 2.4

JMIR Research Protocols  (JRP, ISSN 1929-0748) is a unique PubMed and Scopus-indexed journal, publishing peer-reviewed, openly accessible research ideas and grant proposals, study and trial protocols, reports of ongoing research, current methods and approaches, and preliminary results from pilot studies or formative research informing the design of medical and health-related research and technology innovations.

In 2024, JMIR Research Protocols received a Journal Impact Factor™ of 1.4 (5-Year Journal Impact Factor™: 1.5) according to the latest release of the Journal Citation Reports™ from Clarivate, 2024. 

With a CiteScore of 2.4, JMIR Research Protocols ranks in the 66th percentile (#211 of 636) as a Q2 journal in the field of General Medicine.

It should be stressed however that most authors do not publish their protocols for "impact" or citations, rather to document their ideas to how to design experiments, to document their successful grant proposals, or to publish (and maybe brag a little about) their already funded protocols (which do not require additional peer-review). We offer this platform for scientists to publish peer-reviewed protocols for a very low APF, and unfunded protocols for a reasonable fee that includes peer-review. 

While the original focus was on eHealth studies, JRP now publishes protocols and grant proposals in all areas of medicine, and their peer-review reports, if available (preliminary results from pilot studies, early results, and formative research should now be published in JMIR Formative Research).

While the original focus was on the design of medical and health-related research and technology innovations, JRP publishes research protocols, proposals, feasibility studies, methods and early results in all areas of medical and health research.

JRP is fully open access, with full-text articles deposited in PubMed Central.

JRP publishes research protocols, grant proposals, pilot/feasibility studies and early reports of ongoing and planned work that encourages collaboration and early feedback, and reduces duplication of effort.

JRP is compatible with the concept of "Registered Reports" and since May 2018, published protocols receive a Registered Report Identifier (What is a Registered Report Identifier?) and acceptance of the subsequent results paper is "in principle" guaranteed in any JMIR journal and partner journals - see What is a Registered Report?

JRP will be a valuable resource for researchers who want to learn about current research methodologies and how to write a winning grant proposal.

JRP creates an early scientific record for researchers who have developed novel methodologies, software, innovations or elaborate protocols.

JRP provides a "dry-run" for peer-review of the final results paper, and allows feedback/critique of the methods, often while they still can be fixed.

JRP facilitates subsequent publication of results demonstrating that the methodology has already been reviewed, and reduces the effort of writing up the results, as the protocol can be easily referenced.

JRP demonstrates to reviewers of subsequent results papers that authors followed and adhered to carefully developed and described a-priori methods.

Studies whose protocols or grant proposals have been accepted in JRP are "in principle accepted" for subsequent publication of results in other JMIR journals as long as authors adhere to their original protocol - regardless of study results (even if they are negative), reducing publication bias in medicine.

Authors publishing their protocols in JRP will receive a 20% discount on the article processing fee if they publish their results in another journal of the JMIR journal family (for example, JMIR for e-health studies, i-JMR for others).

Need more reasons? Read the Knowledge Base article on "Why should I publish my protocol/grant proposal"!

JMIR Research Protocols is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central (PMC), MEDLINE, Sherpa Romeo, DOAJ, Scopus, Web of Science(WoS)/ESCI/SCIE, and EBSCO. 

Recent Articles

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Formative Studies and eHealth/mHealth Development

Primary care physicians are at the forefront of the clinical process that can lead to diagnosis, referral, and treatment. With electronic medical records (EMRs) being introduced and, over time, gaining acceptance by primary care users, they have now become a standard part of care. EMRs have the potential to be further optimized with the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI). There has yet to be a widespread exploration of the use of AI in primary health care and how clinicians envision AI use to encourage further uptake.

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Proposals (eHealth)

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly transformed the landscape of work and collaboration, impacting design research methodologies and techniques. Co-design approaches have been both negatively and positively affected by the pandemic, prompting a need to investigate and understand the extent of these impacts, changes, and adaptations, specifically in the health sector. Despite the challenges that the pandemic imposed on conducting co-design and related projects, it also encouraged a re-evaluation of co-design practices, leading to innovative solutions and techniques. Designers and researchers have explored alternative ways to engage stakeholders and end users, leveraging digital workshops and participatory digital platforms. These adaptations have the potential to enhance inclusivity, allowing for a wider range of individuals to contribute their perspectives and insights through co-design and thus contribute to healthcare change.

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Participatory Research Protocols and Proposals

Integration of mobile health data collection methods into cohort studies enables the collection of intensive longitudinal information, which gives deeper insights into individuals’ health and lifestyle behavioral patterns over time, as compared to traditional cohort methods with less frequent data collection. These findings can then fill the gaps that remain in understanding how various lifestyle behaviors interact as students graduate from university and seek employment (student-to-work life transition), where the inability to adapt quickly to a changing environment greatly affects the mental well-being of young adults.

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Systematic Review Protocols

Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) has been a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children. The most recent estimation of the global burden of Spn meningitis indicates a positive trajectory in eliminating Spn through the implementation of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. However, continuous monitoring and assessment of the disease burden are necessary due to the evidence of serotype replacement, antibiotic resistance, and the impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

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Grant Proposals (eHealth, funded)

Adolescence is marked by an increasing risk of depression and is an optimal window for prevention and early intervention. Personalizing interventions may be one way to maximize therapeutic benefit, especially given the marked heterogeneity in depressive presentations. However, empirical evidence that can guide personalized intervention for youth is lacking. Identifying person-specific symptom drivers during adolescence could improve outcomes by accounting for both developmental and individual differences.

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Development of Instruments and Surveys

Screen use time has increased in the past decade owing to the increased availability and accessibility of digital devices and the internet. Several studies have shown an association between increased screen use time and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. However, studies in the young adult population—a demographic with high screen use—and in low- and middle-income country settings are limited.

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RCTs - Protocols/Proposals (eHealth)

Mental health problems among workers cause enormous losses to companies in Japan. However, workers have been considered to have limited access to psychological support because of time constraints, which makes it difficult for them to engage in face-to-face psychological support interventions.

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Systematic Review Protocols

The reporting of adverse events (AEs) relating to medical devices is a long-standing area of concern, with suboptimal reporting due to a range of factors including a failure to recognize the association of AEs with medical devices, lack of knowledge of how to report AEs, and a general culture of nonreporting. The introduction of artificial intelligence as a medical device (AIaMD) requires a robust safety monitoring environment that recognizes both generic risks of a medical device and some of the increasingly recognized risks of AIaMD (such as algorithmic bias). There is an urgent need to understand the limitations of current AE reporting systems and explore potential mechanisms for how AEs could be detected, attributed, and reported with a view to improving the early detection of safety signals.

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Non-Randomized Study Protocols and Methods (Non-eHealth)

Women of reproductive age experience cyclical variation in the female sex steroid hormones 17β-estradiol and progesterone during the menstrual cycle that is attenuated by some hormonal contraceptives. Estrogens perform a primary function in sexual development and reproduction but have nonreproductive effects on bone, muscle, and sinew tissues (ie, ligaments and tendons), which may influence injury risk and physical performance.

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NIH mHealth - funded projects

Pediatric asthma is a heterogeneous disease; however, current characterizations of its subtypes are limited. Machine learning (ML) methods are well-suited for identifying subtypes. In particular, deep neural networks can learn patient representations by leveraging longitudinal information captured in electronic health records (EHRs) while considering future outcomes. However, the traditional approach for subtype analysis requires large amounts of EHR data, which may contain protected health information causing potential concerns regarding patient privacy. Federated learning is the key technology to address privacy concerns while preserving the accuracy and performance of ML algorithms. Federated learning could enable multisite development and implementation of ML algorithms to facilitate the translation of artificial intelligence into clinical practice.

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Grant Proposals (funded, non-ehealth)

Evidence suggests that having a chronic physical illness (CPI; eg, asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy) is an independent risk factor for suicidality (ie, suicidal ideation or attempts) among youth. Less is known about the mechanisms linking CPI and suicidality. Some evidence suggests that mental illness (eg, depression and anxiety) or neurodevelopmental disorder (eg, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) mediates or moderates the CPI-suicidality association. Missing from the knowledge base is information on the association between having co-occurring CPI and mental illness or neurodevelopmental disorder (MIND) on youth suicidality.

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Preprints Open for Peer-Review

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