Guideline for Study Protocol

BNJ considers protocols which have been through competitive external peer review by a national or international research funding agency. These will usually only undergo editorial peer review by the handling editor. Study protocols without ethical approval will not be considered. Proof of both ethics and funding will be required, and we recommend that authors provide the relevant documentation on submission.

Authors submitting protocols for randomized trials matching the journal scope must provide details of prospective trial registration and the relevant completed CONSORT checklist or extension (e.g. the extension for cluster randomized trials), including the CONSORT flow diagram in the main body of the text. Protocols of randomized clinical trials should follow the SPIRIT guidelines, including the SPIRIT flow diagram in the main body of the text, with the populated checklist provided as an additional file. All protocols must have a trial registration number included as the last line of the abstract.

Study pre-protocols (i.e. discussing provisional study designs) may also be submitted and will be clearly labelled as such in the title when published. If specific feedback is being requested from reviewers and/or other readers from the community, this should be included in the article.

Study protocols for pilot and feasibility studies will also be considered.