About

Aims and scope

Trials encompasses all aspects of the performance and findings of randomized controlled trials in health. We publish articles on general trial methodology as well as protocols, commentaries and traditional results papers - regardless of outcome or significance of findings.

Trials aims to experiment with, and refine, innovative approaches to improving communication about trials. We are keen to move beyond publishing traditional trial results articles (although these are included). We believe this journal represents an exciting opportunity to advance the science and reporting of trials. Making all its content open access and not retaining copyright, Trials offers a way to make data both freely available and highly visible to trialists worldwide; this will benefit the impact of your publication among peers and societies.

The journal has unrestricted space and takes advantage of all the technical possibilities available for electronic publishing. To date, journals have focused on reporting the results of trials, with very little coverage of why and how they are conducted. Reports of trials have been restricted both by authors and editors - both parties often select only a subset of the outcomes measured, while the latter often impose word limits on the articles published making it difficult to communicate the lessons learnt from conducting the trial, let alone include adequate details of how the trial was conducted. The Internet offers both unlimited space and interactivity, and we are keen to harness these attributes. For instance, trialists are able to provide the detail required to be a true scientific record and do more to make the article's message comprehensible to a variety of reader groups. They are able to communicate not only all outcome measures, as well as varying analyses and interpretations, but also in-depth descriptions of what they did and what they learnt. This sharing of direct experience is fundamental to improving the quality and conduct of trials worldwide.

Open access

All articles published by Trials are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

As authors of articles published in Trials you are the copyright holders of your article and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate your article, according to the BioMed Central license agreement.

For those of you who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BioMed Central can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.

Article-processing charges

Open access publishing is not without costs. Trials therefore levies an article-processing charge of £1370/$2145/€1745 for each article accepted for publication. If the corresponding author's institution participates in our open access membership program, some or all of the publication cost may be covered (more details available on the membership page). We routinely waive charges for authors from low-income countries. For other countries, article-processing charge waivers or discounts are granted on a case-by-case basis to authors with insufficient funds. Authors can request a waiver or discount during the submission process. For further details, see our article-processing charge page.

Trials is involved in a pilot study of new technology enabling the setting of article processing charges (APCs) at an article-type level within a journal instead of charging at a flat rate. APCs on this journal are as follows for the duration of the pilot:

Article typeAPC GDPAPC EURAPC USD
Research £1370€1745$2145
Methodology£1370€1745$2145
Review£1370€1745$2145
Study protocol£1370€1745$2145
Commentary£750€955$1175
Letter£750€955$1175
Update£750€955$1175

Payments from within the EU are subject to VAT. EU customers must supply their VAT Number to be exempt from VAT charge. UK Customers are not exempt from VAT charge.

BioMed Central provides a free open access funding support service to help authors discover and apply for article processing charge funding. Visit our OA funding and policy support page to view our list of research funders and institutions that provide funding for APCs, and to learn more about our email support service.

Indexing services

All articles published in Trials are included in:

  • CAS
  • Citebase
  • Current contents
  • DOAJ
  • Embase
  • MEDLINE
  • OAIster
  • PubMed
  • PubMed Central
  • Science Citation Index Expanded
  • SCImago
  • Scopus
  • SOCOLAR
  • Zetoc

The full text of all articles is deposited in digital archives around the world to guarantee long-term digital preservation. You can also access all articles published by BioMed Central on SpringerLink.

Trials has an Impact Factor of 1.859.

Peer-review policy

Peer-review is the system used to assess the quality of a manuscript before it is published. Independent researchers in the relevant research area assess submitted manuscripts for originality, validity and significance to help Editors determine whether the manuscript should be published in their journal. You can read more about the peer-review process here.

Trials operates an open peer-review system, where the reviewers' names are included on the peer review reports for authors. In addition, if the article is published, the named reviewer reports are published online alongside the article under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. Previous versions of the manuscript and all author responses to the reviewers are available by contacting info@biomedcentral.com.

The benefit of open peer review is that it increases transparency. The peer reviewers and Editors are fully accountable for the decisions made, bias is reduced as reviewer reports are named, published reports can serve an educational purpose in helping facilitate training and research into peer review, and reviewers can get credit for their work.

Submitted manuscripts will generally be reviewed by two or more experts who will be asked to evaluate whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, whether it duplicates already published work, and whether or not the manuscript is sufficiently clear for publication. The Editors will reach a decision based on these reports and, where necessary, they will consult with members of the Editorial Board.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to Trials should adhere to BioMed Central's editorial policies.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Citing articles in Trials

Articles in Trials  should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.

Article citations follow this format:

Authors: Title. Trials [year], [volume number]:[article number].

e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. Trials 2009, 1:115.

refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Appeals and complaints

If you wish to appeal a rejection or make a complaint you should, in the first instance, contact the Editor who will provide details of the journal's complaints procedure. For complaints that cannot be resolved with the Editor, the authors should contact the Publisher.

Why publish your article in Trials

High visibility

Trials's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. 

Speed of publication

Trials offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF.

Flexibility

Online publication in Trials gives you the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other articles).

Promotion and press coverage

Articles published in Trials are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be highlighted on Trials’s pages and on the BioMed Central homepage.

In addition, articles published in Trials may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in Trials. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BioMed Central is available here.

Copyright

As an author of an article published in Trials you retain the copyright of your article and you are free to reproduce and disseminate your work (for further details, see the BioMed Central license agreement).

For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from BioMed Central, please click here.