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It should be stressed however that most authors do not publish their protocols for "impact" or citations, rather to document their ideas to how to design experiments, to document their successful grant proposals, or to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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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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Non-Randomized Study Protocols and Methods (Non-eHealth)

The aging population and increased disability prevalence in Spain have heightened the demand for long-term care. Informal caregiving, primarily performed by women, plays a crucial role in this scenario. This protocol outlines the CUIDAR-SE study, focusing on the gender-specific impact of informal caregiving on health and quality of life among caregivers in Andalusia and the Basque Country from 2013 to 2024.

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

Obesity prevalence in youth with spina bifida is higher than in their typically developing peers. Obesity is associated with lifelong medical, psychological, and economic burdens. Successful prevention or treatment of obesity in individuals with spina bifida is compromised by (1) the lack of valid and reliable methods to identify body fat in a clinical setting and (2) limited data on energy expenditure that are necessary to provide daily caloric recommendations.

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

Starting in 2010, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase inhibitors erlotinib and gefitinib were introduced into routine use in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) for treating advanced lung cancer, but their impact in this setting is unknown.

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Proposals (non-eHealth)

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disabling condition that affects more than one-third of people older than 65 years. Currently, 80% of these patients report movement limitations, 20% are unable to perform major activities of daily living, and approximately 11% require personal care. In 2014, the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ESCEO) recommended, as the first step in the pharmacological treatment of knee osteoarthritis, a background therapy with chronic symptomatic slow-acting osteoarthritic drugs such as glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid. The latter has been extensively evaluated in clinical trials as intra-articular and oral administration. Recent reviews have shown that studies on oral hyaluronic acid generally measure symptoms using only subjective parameters, such as visual analog scales or quality of life questionnaires. As a result, objective measures are lacking, and data validity is generally impaired.

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NIH mHealth - funded projects

The lack of regular physical activity (PA) in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the United States is an ongoing health crisis. Regular PA and exercise-based interventions have been linked with improved outcomes and healthier lifestyles among those with SCI. Providing people with an accurate estimate of their everyday PA level can promote PA. Furthermore, PA tracking can be combined with mobile health technology such as smartphones and smartwatches to provide a just-in-time adaptive intervention (JITAI) for individuals with SCI as they go about everyday life. A JITAI can prompt an individual to set a PA goal or provide feedback about their PA levels.

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Non-Randomized Studies (funded, non-eHealth)

Pulmonary rehabilitation is widely recommended to improve functional status and as secondary and tertiary prevention in individuals with chronic pulmonary diseases. Unfortunately, access to timely and appropriate rehabilitation remains limited. To help close this inaccessibility gap, telerehabilitation has been proposed. However, exercise testing is necessary for effective and safe exercise prescription. Current gold-standard tests, such as maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) and the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), are poorly adapted to home-based or telerehabilitation settings. This was an obstacle to the continuity of services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential to validate tests adapted to these new realities, such as the 6-minute stepper test (6MST). This test, strongly inspired by 6MWT, consists of taking as many steps as possible on a “stepper” for 6 minutes.

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

Despite the potential to significantly reduce complications, many patients do not consistently receive diabetes preventive care. Our research team recently applied user-centered design sprint methodology to develop a patient portal intervention empowering patients to address selected diabetes care gaps (eg, no diabetes eye examination in last 12 months).

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Preprints Open for Peer-Review

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