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Including an ORCiD identifier

22nd September 2021

Trials asks authors to include their ORCiD identifier when submitting their work to the journal. An ORCiD (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) number uniquely attaches an author’s identity to their research work, such as articles and datasets. Authors can get their free personal identifier ​at https://ORCiD.org/register

An ORCiD identifier should be provided for each author when submitting your work to Trials. In cases where an author’s ORCiD identifier is not available please list this as 'Not applicable’ when prompted

Submissions on complementary and alternative medicine

5th August 2021
As of 1st September 2021, Trials will no longer be considering papers on the topic of complementary and alternative medicine. Submissions made after this date will be referred to the Transfer Desk team who will help the authors select a proper destination for their manuscript. We recommend the below journals from the BMC family that can accommodate studies in this area, please check each journal scope carefully before submitting:

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies (accepting study protocols)

Chinese Medicine

Nutrition Journal (accepting study protocols)


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.

Pilot and feasibility trials

2nd November 2020
As of 1st January 2021, Trials will no longer consider study protocols or results papers for pilot or feasibility trials. Submissions received after this date will not be considered for publication. We recommend that all manuscripts related to pilot or feasibility studies are submitted to our sister journal, Pilot and Feasibility Studies.

Call for papers: Impact of COVID-19 on clinical trials

29th October 2020
Trials is inviting submission of manuscripts, long and short, including Letters and Commentaries detailing the enforced changes to trial design; trial management; recruitment; consent process; intervention delivery and follow up as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also welcome submission of Updates to protocols previously published in Trials that describe changes made because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and impact on peer review

23rd March 2020
As a result of the significant disruption that is being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we are very aware that many researchers will have difficulty in meeting the timelines associated with our peer review process during normal times.  Please do let us know if you need additional time. Our systems will continue to remind you of the original timelines but we intend to be highly flexible at this time.

Study protocols policy

30th January 2020
Trials are pleased to announce an updated policy for study protocol submissions. We continue to advise that study protocols are submitted to the journal well before recruitment completes, however as of today we will be considering exceptions to this rule. Trials will now consider study protocols submitted before the last piece of data is collected from the last participant if a clear statement outlining this, including an explanation of why it was not possible to submit earlier, is included within the manuscript text. Please confirm the status of your study at submission. For more information, please refer to our submission guidelines.

Structured Protocols

9th December 2019
Trials is pleased to present a template for a structured study protocol, where all 51 SPIRIT headings and item identifers are included within the manuscript itself. Readers will 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 against the SPIRIT checklist.

Read the Editorial from Shaun Treweek here: Protocols—more structure, less ‘Wuthering Heights’

Read the first published structured study protocol: Reducing Asthma Attacks in Children using Exhaled Nitric Oxide as a biomarker to inform treatment strategy: a randomised trial (RAACENO)

Introducing our Senior Editors

8th November 2019
We are delighted to introduce our new team of Senior Editors for Trials: Matthias Briel, An-Wen Chan, Karla Hemming, Will Meurer and Matt Sydes. Read more by following the links to their profiles above.

Peter Jüni joins Trials as co-Editor-in-Chief

23rd July 2019
We are delighted to announce Dr Peter Jüni as co-Editor-in-Chief for Trials. 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. Peter joins Jeremy Grimshaw, Tianjing Li and Shaun Treweek as co-Editor-in-Chief. Welcome Peter!

Thanks to all those who reviewed for Trials in 2018

26th June 2019
In 2018, 853 reviewers from 56 countries submitted peer-review reports for Trials. On behalf of the editors and staff of the journal, thank you all for your invaluable assistance.

View the full list here.

Erik Cobo steps down as Senior Editor

14th June 2019
Dr Erik Cobo has stood down from his role as Senior Editor for Trials. Dr. Cobo joined the journal as an Associate Editor and was promoted to the Senior Editor position in 2013, in which he has been a tremendous help to the running and development of the journal. On behalf of the Editors-in-Chief and BMC, we would like to express our thanks for all Erik's hard work with Trials and wish him all the best as he assumes new challenges at Barcelona-Tech, Catalonia, Spain

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