Why It’s So Important to Have and Stick To Good Research Protocols

Preparation is critical when conducting research, and the best tool to aid your preparation is a research protocol. A research protocol is a document in a clinical trial that specifies the plan for the research. It is a vital quality control tool for the entire clinical trial. 

The research protocol should be written as if it will be read by someone who knows nothing about the research or its aims. It makes it easier for every reader to understand the document. 

The following is why it is crucial to have and stick to good research protocols: 

To Outline The Research Goals

The first reason for developing a research proposal is to establish the research goals. It is essential to clearly set out the objectives of any research, which you can establish in the protocol as questions or goals. 

It will depend on how you want the research to be viewed when someone is reading the research paper, as research protocols could be 10 to 20 pages long. For example, the research could have the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of a particular issue. 

It could also aim to determine the social impact on a particular variable. Therefore, the research protocol determines the parameters for the research setting and the course for the process the research will follow. 

Scientific Integrity

Most clinical trials and epidemiologic investigations involve observational research. It would be difficult to establish the research process unless there was a research protocol since it includes observation. 

Therefore, a research protocol gives the research integrity since other researchers can use the protocol to replicate the study. If they achieve the same results, the research can receive acclaim from the scientific community. 

For that reason, it is crucial to define your protocols for laboratory research and make them easily accessible. That way, anyone who doubts the study’s validity can easily get and follow the protocols to verify the results. 

To Establish Interventions

Most research will include a control group and the study group(s). An intervention will be introduced to examine the results the intervention causes to the study group. Research protocols are vital as they help establish which interventions would be best to use in the study. 

The protocol will determine who delivers the intervention, timing, setting, and wording. There has to be a clear justification for using a particular intervention as opposed to others. It should be different from interventions other studies have used before, and it should be the best option as it pertains to the aims of the research. 


Research protocols are excellent tools for research documentation. It also ensures that the study is conducted according to the requirements outlined in the protocol. Hence, the protocol needs to be justifiable, verifiable, achievable, and transparent. 

There are many documents within any research or study, but not all are to be saved. Research protocols will ensure that the research team keeps the proper documentation which they can use or send to relevant parties whenever necessary. Proper documentation is also key to avoiding plagiarism which can affect the integrity of a study. 

Data Collection

In a particular study or research, the team will have to gather data from a myriad of sources. It is especially true for secondary data. You have to scrutinize very carefully, which may involve choosing which people to involve in your samples, control or otherwise with clinical trials. 

The research protocol will outline where the researchers can collect their data and any potential issues with the context. The protocols are also crucial for putting data protection measures in place. 

A research protocol is vital for various reasons when conducting research or doing a study. It helps with data collection, documentation, establishing interventions, outlining research goals, and scientific integrity. 

Therefore, researchers should always ensure they have and keep research protocols when conducting studies. 

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