Definition: A detailed document prepared before conducting a study, often written as part of ethics and funding applications. The protocol should include information relating to the background, rationale and aims of the study, as well as hypotheses which reflect the researchers’ expectations. The protocol should also provide a “recipe” for conducting the study, including methodological details and clear analysis plans. Best practice guidelines for creating a study protocol should be used for specific methodologies and fields. It is possible to publically share research protocols to attract new collaborators or facilitate efficient collaboration across labs (e.g. https://www.protocols.io/). In medical and educational fields, protocols are often a separate article type suitable for publication in journals. Where protocol sharing or publication is not common practice, researchers can choose preregistration.
References: BMJ (2015), & Nosek et al. (2018)
Drafted and Reviewed by: Marta Topor, Helena Hartmann, Bethan Iley, Annalise A. LaPlume, Charlotte Pennington
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