JMIR Research Protocols

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

Editor-in-Chief:

Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH, FACMI, Founding Editor and Publisher; Adjunct Professor, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria, Canada; Xiaomeng (Simone) Ma, PhDc, MS, BS, Scientific Editor at JMIR Publications, Ontario, Canada

Impact Factor 1.7

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 2023, JMIR Research Protocols received an inaugural Journal Impact Factor™: 1.7 (Source: Journal Citation Reports™ from Clarivate, 2023).

With a Scopus Citescore of 2.6, the journal ranks in the higher Q2 61% (317/830) in the General Medicine category.

It should be stressed however that most authors do not publish their protocols for "impact" or citations, rather to document their ideas to how to design experiments, to document their successful grant proposals, or to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.

Publishing research protocols, grant proposals, pilot/feasibility studies and early reports of ongoing and planned work 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 National Library of Medicine (NLM)/MEDLINESherpa Romeo, DOAJ, PubMed Central, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science(WoS)/ESCI/SCIE, and EBSCO. 

Recent Articles

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RCTs - Protocols/Proposals (non-eHealth)

In the global strategy to eliminate leprosy, there remains a need for early case detection to successfully interrupt transmissions. Poor knowledge about leprosy and leprosy-related stigma are key drivers of delayed diagnosis and treatment. Sensitization campaigns to inform and increase awareness among the general population are an integral part of many national neglected tropical disease programs. Despite their importance, the effectiveness of such campaigns has not been rigorously studied in the West African context. A multilingual rural setting with low health literacy in this region presents challenges to the potential impact of sensitization campaigns.

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Systematic Review Protocols

Quality improvement (QI) interventions are designed to resolve the recurring challenges of care for older individuals, such as working conditions for staff, roles of older individuals in their own care and their families, and relevant stakeholders. Therefore, there is a need to map the impacts of QI interventions in older adult care settings and further improve health and social care systems associated with older adults.

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Non-Randomized Studies (funded, non-eHealth)

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) occurs at young ages, with the highest incidence between 20 and 40 years. While cure rates have improved to 80%-90% over the past decades, survivors of HL are at substantial risk of late treatment–related complications, such as cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, severe infections, and hypothyroidism. To reduce morbidity and mortality from late treatment effects, the Dutch Better care after lymphoma, Evaluation of long-term Treatment Effects and screening Recommendations (BETER) consortium developed a survivorship care program for 5-year survivors of HL that includes risk-based screening for and treatment of (risk factors for) late adverse events. Even though several cancer survivorship care programs have been established worldwide, there is a lack of knowledge about their effectiveness in clinical practice.

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

Approximately 20%-25% of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) harbor a deleterious germline or somatic mutation in the homologous recombination repair (HRR) pathway genes, which is involved in the repair of double-stranded DNA damage. Half of these mutations are germline, while the remaining are exclusively somatic. While polyadenosine 5’diphosphoribose [poly (ADP-ribose)] polymerase inhibitors, such as olaparib and rucaparib, are effective in this subgroup, their widespread use is limited due to the associated high cost, especially in resource-constrained settings. Notably, platinum agents like carboplatin have exquisite sensitivity to cells with defective DNA repair machinery. Carboplatin, a conventional, inexpensive chemotherapeutic agent, offers a potential alternative treatment in such patients. Several retrospective small case series support this hypothesis. However, there are no prospective clinical trials of carboplatin in patients with mCRPC with HRR mutations.

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

Conducting a health needs assessment for older adults is important, particularly for early detection and management of frailty. Such assessments can help to improve health outcomes, maintain overall well-being, and support older adults in retaining their independence as they age at home.

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Non-randomized Protocols and Methods (ehealth)

Social media is essential in the lives of adolescents, with 97% of US teenagers engaging daily. While it facilitates communication, learning, and identity development, it also poses risks like harmful content exposure and psychological distress, particularly for adolescents in their critical developmental stage. Teaching digital life skills innovatively counters these risks, adapting traditional competencies such as decision-making, problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, communication, interpersonal skills, self-awareness, empathy, and emotional and stress management to digital challenges.

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Non-Randomized Studies (funded, non-eHealth)

The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened the focus on health care safety and quality, underscoring the importance of using standardized metrics such as the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). In this regard, the ICD-10 cluster Y62-Y69 serves as a proxy assessment of safety and quality in health care systems, allowing researchers to evaluate medical misadventures. Thus far, extensive research and reports support the need for more attention to safety and quality in health care. The study aims to leverage the pandemic’s unique challenges to explore health care safety and quality trends during prepandemic, intrapandemic, and postpandemic phases, using the ICD-10 cluster Y62-Y69 as a key tool for their evaluation.

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RCTs - Protocols/Proposals (funded, already peer-reviewed, non-eHealth)

Chronic pain affects approximately 8 million Canadians (~20%), impacting their physical and mental health while burdening the health care system with costs of upwards of US $60 billion a year. Indeed, patients are often trialed on numerous medications over several years without reductions to their symptoms. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify new therapies for chronic pain to improve patients’ quality of life, increase the availability of treatment options, and reduce the burden on the health care system.

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Non-randomized Protocols and Methods (ehealth)

Many of the challenges in advanced care planning (ACP) conversations are linked to the waxing and waning progress of serious illnesses. Conversations with patients about future medical care decisions by a surrogate decision maker have historically been left until late in the patient’s disease trajectory. These conversations often happen at a time when the patient is already very ill. The challenge in effective early ACP and serious illness conversations is to create a situation where patients appreciate the link between current and future medical care. Setting the stage to make these conversations more accessible includes using telehealth to have conversations at the patient’s place of choice. The personalization used includes addressing the current medical and social needs of the patient and ensuring that expressed needs are addressed as much as possible. Engaging patients in these conversations allows the documentation of patient preferences in the electronic health record (EHR), providing guidelines for future medical care.

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Non-Randomized Studies (funded, eHealth)

Fatigue is the most common symptom in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and long COVID, impacting patients’ quality of life; however, there is currently a lack of evidence-based context-aware tools for fatigue self-management in these populations.

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Systematic Review Protocols

Long wait times in the emergency department (ED) are a major issue for health care systems all over the world. The application of artificial intelligence (AI) is a novel strategy to reduce ED wait times when compared to the interventions included in previous research endeavors. To date, comprehensive systematic reviews that include studies involving AI applications in the context of EDs have covered a wide range of AI implementation issues. However, the lack of an iterative update strategy limits the use of these reviews. Since the subject of AI development is cutting edge and is continuously changing, reviews in this area must be frequently updated to remain relevant.

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

Physical activity and exercise are important aspects of maintaining health. People with mobility impairments, including survivors of stroke, are less likely to exercise and at greater risk of developing or worsening chronic health conditions. Increasing accessible, desired options for exercise may address the gap in available physical activity programs, provide an opportunity for continued services after rehabilitation, and cultivate social connections for people after stroke and others with mobility impairments. Existing evidence-based community programs for people after stroke target cardiovascular endurance, mobility, walking ability, balance, and education. While much is known about the effectiveness of these programs, it is important to understand the local environment as implementation and sustainment strategies are context-specific.

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