Trials encompasses all aspects of the performance and findings of randomized controlled trials in health. We publish articles on general trial methodology and research into trial processes, as well as study protocols and statistical analysis plans for randomized controlled trials, commentaries and traditional results papers - regardless of outcome or significance of findings.
Aims and scope
A short, animated storytelling video about sodium intake as a major cardiovascular risk factor and recommendations for a healthy diet: an online, randomized, controlled trial
Efficacy of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound for the treatment of viral pneumonia: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
Safety and efficacy in pediatric secondary intraocular lens implantation, in-the-bag versus sulcus implantation: a multicenter, single-blinded randomized controlled trial
Protocol of a prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial of robot-assisted stereotactic lesioning in the treatment of focal drug-resistant epilepsy
Palliative long-term abdominal drains versus repeated drainage in individuals with untreatable ascites due to advanced cirrhosis: study protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial
Through the looking glass: understanding non-inferiority
Sample size requirements to estimate key design parameters from external pilot randomised controlled trials: a simulation study
Managing clinical trials
Oral corticosteroids for post-infectious cough in adults: study protocol for a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial in Swiss family practices (OSPIC trial)
Reducing financial hardships from cancers
Edited by Dr Matthew Banegas and Dr Janet S. de Moor
Case studies of experience with interim data and IDMCs in RCTs
Edited by Prof Matthew Sydes (MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL)
COVID-19 trial protocols
Impact of COVID-19 on clinical trials
The future of pragmatic trials
Edited by Prof Marion Campbell and Prof Sandra Eldridge
Big data for randomized trials
Edited by Dr Lars Hemkens
Sample size calculations and specifying the target difference for randomized trials
Building capacity for evidence informed trial management
Edited by Dr Roberta Littleford and Prof Shaun Treweek
Click here to view which articles have been shared the most in the last month!
Thank you to our peer reviewers
The editors and staff of Trials would like to warmly thank our peer reviewers whose comments have helped to shape the journal.
Peer review mentoring
The Editors endorse peer review mentoring of early career researchers. Find out more here
Announcement: we are recruiting new Associate Editors
We are recruiting new Associate Editors to join our international Editorial Board, helping to provide expertise on the design, conduct and reporting of trials in our journal.
Click here to find out more.
Call for papers
The collection, analysis and reporting of adverse events in randomised controlled trials
Edited by Victoria Cornelius (Imperial College London, UK) and Rachel Phillips (Imperial College London, UK)
The use of electronic consent (e-Consent) in randomised trials
Call for papers: Case studies of experience with interim data and IDMCs in RCTs
Edited by: Prof Matthew Sydes (MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL)
In Review: an integrated pre-print service for Trials
Trials, in partnership with Research Square, is now offering In Review, a service that allows authors to opt in to upload their manuscript to a free preprint platform when submitting to Springer Nature journals. This service allows authors to:
• Share their work with fellow researchers to read, comment on, and cite even before publication
• Showcase their work to funders and others with a citable DOI while it is still under review
• Track their manuscript - including seeing when reviewers are invited, and when reports are receivedRead More
Research on Research registry
Trials would like to encourage authors of research on research (also referred to as meta-research or science of science) to register their work with the Research on Research (RoR) registry and hub. The registry has been designed to increase transparency, sharing and collaboration in research to develop and improve research design, conduct or reporting. If you have registered with the RoR registry, please include the registry record URL within your submission.
For more information on the RoR registry, and to register your research, please visit https://ror-hub.org/.
Link your publications with an ORCiD identifier
Trials would like to ask all authors to include their ORCiD identifier when submitting their work to Trials. An ORCiD (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) number uniquely attaches your identity to your research work, such as your articles and datasets. You can get your free personal identifier at https://ORCiD.org/register.Read More
Submissions on complementary and alternative medicine
As a journal dedicated to improve the reporting and publication of clinical trials, we aim to embrace all content that is relevant, including general methodology papers, and research into the trial processes, protocols and statistical analysis plan for randomized controlled trials, as well as traditional research and commentary papers. However, it requires an in-depth subject knowledge to properly evaluate papers on the topic of complementary and alternative medicine to assess the intervention, the design of the trials, as well as the primary and secondary outcomes. Hence we feel it’s better to refer authors of these papers to the journals that are more equipped with the expertise required.
As of 1st September 2021, Trials will no longer be considering papers on the topic of complementary and alternative medicine. We recommend the below journals from the BMC family that can accommodate studies in this area, do please check each journal scope carefully before submitting:
・BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies (accepting study protocols)
・Nutrition Journal (accepting study protocols)
Submissions made after 1st September will be referred to Transfer Desk team who will help the authors select a proper destination for their manuscript.
Structured Study Protocols
Trials is experimenting with a new way of structuring study protocols for randomised trials. The simple innovation is to include all 51 SPIRIT headings and item identifiers within the protocol itself. Readers will then benefit from the ability to search by item identifier, which are contained within curly brackets. This is not mandatory and we will continue to consider protocols submitted in other formats.
We have created a template for this new format that contains both SPIRIT and Trials guidance in one place.
About the Editors
Peter Jüni, Editor-in-Chief
Peter is a clinical epidemiologist and general internist, and the Director of the Applied Health Research Centre (AHRC) at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Clinical Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases and is a Professor at the Department of Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Peter is known for his methodological work and for his clinical research on the management of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders. He has had leading roles in major cardiovascular trials, served as a member of several task forces of the European Society of Cardiology, and contributed to the Cochrane Risk of Bias tools for randomized and non-randomized studies.
Tianjing Li, Editor-in-Chief
Tianjing is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH). Dr Li was trained as a physician and subsequently earned her PhD in Epidemiology (Clinical Trials concentration) and MHS in Biostatistics from JHBSPH. The primary goal of Dr Li's research is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate efficient methods for comparing healthcare interventions and to provide trustworthy evidence for decision making. Her core research interests include methodologies for randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, network meta-analysis, comparative effectiveness research, and patient-centered outcomes research. Dr Li serves as the Associate Director for Cochrane United States and the Director for Research for Cochrane Eyes and Vision US Project.
Shaun Treweek, Editor-in-Chief
Shaun is Professor of Health Services Research in the Health Services Research Unit at the University of Aberdeen, UK. Prof Treweek’s research interests are mainly in efficient trial design, particularly pragmatic trial design, improved recruitment and retention interventions for trials, the design of studies to generate trial process evidence and the effective presentation of research evidence. He is leading an initiative called Trial Forge (http://www.trialforge.org) that aims to be more systematic about how we generate and use research evidence in making trial design, conduct, analysis and reporting decisions.
Annual Journal Metrics
2.728 - 2-year Impact Factor (2021)
2.754 - 5-year Impact Factor (2021)
0.930 - Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)
1.067 - SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)
69 days to first decision for all manuscripts (Median)
110 days to first decision for reviewed manuscripts only (Median)
6,130,958 Downloads (2022)
7,557 Altmetric mentions (2021)