Publish your study protocol

BioMed Central believes that publishing study protocols will help to improve the standard of medical research by:

  • Enabling researchers to obtain feedback on draft study protocols through peer review.
  • Enabling readers to compare what was originally intended with what was actually done, thus preventing both "data dredging" and post-hoc revisions of study aims.
  • Enabling funders and researchers to see what studies are underway and hence reduce duplication of research effort.
  • Enabling systematic reviewers to find trials, which may in turn reduce distortion of the evidence from publication bias.
  • Enabling patients to see what studies are underway that they may wish to volunteer for.

Publishing your study protocol in a medical BioMed Central journal

By publishing your study protocol in a medical BioMed Central journal, it becomes a fully citable open-access article - freely and universally accessible online, permanently archived, with copyright resting with the authors.

  • The study protocol can be for proposed or ongoing research.
  • Study protocols will usually be published without peer review if the study has received ethics approval and a grant from a major funding body (proof will be required).
  • Study protocols without funding or ethical approval will be peer reviewed. If accepted, the reviewers' reports will be posted online with the published protocol as part of the pre-publication history (open peer review).
  • For study protocols of controlled trials of health care interventions, the last section of the abstract should be Trial Registration: listing the trial registry and the unique identifying number, e.g. Trial registration: ISRCTN registry ISRCTN73824458. Please note that there should be no space between the letters and numbers of the trial registration number. The trial registers that currently meet all of the ICMJE guidelines can be found at
  • Publishing your study protocol in a medical BioMed Central journal does not commit you to submitting subsequent reports of the study to us, although we do, of course, welcome such submissions.

As part of BioMed Central's Threaded Publications initiative, authors submitting the results of trials to a BMC Series medical journal or Trials are entitled to a 20% discount on the article processing charge if they published the study protocol of the same trial in one of these journals. Authors who publish the protocol of a systematic review in Systematic Reviews are entitled to a 20% discount on the article processing charge if they submit the results of the same systematic review to Systematic Reviews. Furthermore, authors of case reports resulting from any trial published with BioMed Central's publishing services will receive the same 20% discount if their manuscript is accepted by Journal of Medical Case Reports. Authors should request a discount during the submission process and provide their trial registration number in the submission cover letter and within the body of the manuscript.

Recent study protocols

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Submitting your study protocol

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