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It should be stressed however that most authors do not publish their protocols for "impact" or citations, rather to document their ideas to how to design experiments, to document their successful grant proposals, or to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 PubMed, PubMed Central (PMC), Sherpa Romeo, DOAJ, Scopus, Web of Science(WoS)/ESCI/SCIE, and EBSCO. 

Recent Articles

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Scoping Review Protocols

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of robust public health data systems and the potential utility of data dashboards for ensuring access to critical public health data for diverse groups of stakeholders and decision makers. As dashboards are becoming ubiquitous, it is imperative to consider how they may be best integrated with public health data systems and the decision-making routines of diverse audiences. However, additional progress on the continued development, improvement, and sustainability of these tools requires the integration and synthesis of a largely fragmented scholarship regarding the purpose, design principles and features, successful implementation, and decision-making supports provided by effective public health data dashboards across diverse users and applications.

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Non-randomized Protocols and Methods (ehealth)

While the scientific community widely recognizes the benefits of physical activity (PA) in oncology supportive care, cancer survivors who have undergone chemo- or radio-immunotherapy treatments struggle to meet PA recommendations. This underscores the importance of identifying factors influencing active lifestyle adoption and maintenance and proposing a multilevel model (micro-, meso-, and macrolevel) to better understand facilitators and barriers. Currently, no socioecological model explains an active lifestyle in the posttreatment phase of breast, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancers.

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Scoping Review Protocols

There is an urgent need worldwide for qualified health professionals. High attrition rates among health professionals, combined with a predicted rise in life expectancy, further emphasize the need for additional health professionals. Work-related stress is a major concern among health professionals, affecting both the well-being of health professionals and the quality of patient care.

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Non-randomized Protocols and Methods (ehealth)

People with low income are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes (T2D), and 17.6% of US adults with T2D experience food insecurity and low diet quality. Low-carbohydrate eating plans can improve glycemic control, promote weight loss, and are associated with improved cardiometabolic health and all-cause mortality. Little is known about supporting low-carbohydrate eating for people with T2D, although food-as-medicine interventions paired with nutrition education offer a promising solution.

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RCTs - Protocols/Proposals (eHealth)

Premature birth poses significant health challenges globally, impacting infants, families, and society. Despite recognition of its contributing factors, efforts to reduce its incidence have seen limited success. A notable gap exists in the awareness among women of childbearing age (WCA) regarding both the risks of premature birth and the preventative measures they can take. Research suggests that enhancing health beliefs and self-management efficacy in WCA could foster preventive health behaviors. Interactive webtoons offer an innovative, cost-effective avenue for delivering engaging, accessible health education aimed at preventing premature birth.

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Non-randomized Protocols and Methods (ehealth)

The impact of digital device use on health and well-being is a pressing question. However, the scientific literature on this topic, to date, is marred by small and unrepresentative samples, poor measurement of core constructs, and a limited ability to address the psychological and behavioral mechanisms that may underlie the relationships between device use and well-being. Recent authoritative reviews have made urgent calls for future research projects to address these limitations. The critical role of research is to identify which patterns of use are associated with benefits versus risks and who is more vulnerable to harmful versus beneficial outcomes, so that we can pursue evidence-based product design, education, and regulation aimed at maximizing benefits and minimizing the risks of smartphones and other digital devices.

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RCTs - Protocols/Proposals (eHealth)

Preoperative state anxiety (PSA) is distress and anxiety directly associated with perioperative events. PSA is associated with negative postoperative outcomes such as longer hospital length of stay, increased pain and opioid use, and higher rates of rehospitalization. Psychological prehabilitation, such as education, exposure to hospital environments, and relaxation strategies, has been shown to mitigate PSA; however, there are limited skilled personnel to deliver such interventions in clinical practice. Immersive virtual reality (VR) has the potential for greater accessibility and enhanced integration into an immersive and interactive experience. VR is rarely used in the preoperative setting, but similar forms of stress inoculation training involving exposure to stressful events have improved psychological preparation in contexts such as military deployment.

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Systematic Review Protocols (funded)

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent need for social distancing required the immediate pivoting of research modalities. Research that had previously been conducted in person had to pivot to remote data collection. Researchers had to develop data collection protocols that could be conducted remotely with limited or no evidence to guide the process. Therefore, the use of web-based platforms to conduct real-time research visits surged despite the lack of evidence backing these novel approaches.

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

Psychotherapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), currently have the strongest evidence of durable symptom changes for most psychological disorders, such as anxiety disorders. Nevertheless, only about half of individuals treated with CBT benefit from it. Predictive algorithms, including digital assessments and passive sensing features, could better identify patients who would benefit from CBT, and thus, improve treatment choices.

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

Single-nucleotide variations (SNVs; formerly SNPs) are inherited genetic variants that can be easily determined in routine clinical practice using a simple blood or saliva test. SNVs have potential to serve as noninvasive biomarkers for predicting cancer-specific patient outcomes after resection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Two recent analyses led to the identification and validation of three SNVs in the CD44 and CHI3L2 genes (rs187115, rs353630, and rs684559), which can be used as predictive biomarkers to help select patients most likely to benefit from pancreatic resection. These variants were associated with an over 2-fold increased risk for tumor-related death in three independent PDAC study cohorts from Europe and the United States, including The Cancer Genome Atlas cohorts (reaching a P value of 1×10–8). However, these analyses were limited by the inherent biases of a retrospective study design, such as selection and publication biases, thereby limiting the clinical use of these promising biomarkers in guiding PDAC therapy.

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RCTs - Protocols/Proposals (non-eHealth)

Instrumental activities of daily living (iADLs) are crucial for older adults to live independently. Health care and technological advancements will increase the older adult population and life expectancy globally. Difficulties with iADLs impact older adults’ quality of life. Mobile apps can assist older adults, but many require help due to limited awareness. Lack of awareness is a barrier to app use. Existing literature mainly covers health care and app design, needing more focus on iADL apps for older adults.

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RCTs - Pilots/Feasibility Studies (eHealth)

Post–COVID-19 syndrome (PCS; also known as “long COVID”) is a relatively novel disease comprising physical, psychological, and cognitive complaints persisting several weeks to months after acute infection with SARS-CoV-2. Approximately 10% of patients with COVID-19 are affected by long-term symptoms. However, effective treatment strategies are lacking. The ErgoLoCo (Occupational Therapy [Ergotherapie] for Long COVID) study was designed to develop and evaluate a novel occupational therapy (OT) concept of online delivery of therapy for long COVID.

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Preprints Open for Peer-Review

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