Peer-review and publication of research protocols and proposals: a role for open access journals

J Med Internet Res. 2004 Sep 30;6(3):e37. doi: 10.2196/jmir.6.3.e37.


Peer-review and publication of research protocols offer several advantages to all parties involved. Among these are the following opportunities for authors: external expert opinion on the methods, demonstration to funding agencies of prior expert review of the protocol, proof of priority of ideas and methods, and solicitation of potential collaborators. We think that review and publication of protocols is an important role for Open Access journals. Because of their electronic form, openness for readers, and author-pays business model, they are better suited than traditional journals to ensure the sustainability and quality of protocol reviews and publications. In this editorial, we describe the workflow for investigators in eHealth research, from protocol submission to a funding agency, to protocol review and (optionally) publication at JMIR, to registration of trials at the International eHealth Study Registry (IESR), and to publication of the report. One innovation at JMIR is that protocol peer reviewers will be paid a honorarium, which will be drawn partly from a new submission fee for protocol reviews. Separating the article processing fee into a submission and a publishing fee will allow authors to opt for "peer-review only" (without subsequent publication) at reduced costs, if they wish to await a funding decision or for other reasons decide not to make the protocol public.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Internet
  • Peer Review, Research / trends*
  • Periodicals as Topic / trends*
  • Research / trends*
  • Research Design*