Protocols improve reproducibility and accessibility of social science research. Given deficiencies in trial protocol quality, the SPIRIT Statement provides an evidence-based set of items to describe in protocols of clinical trials on biomedical interventions. However, such reporting guidance does not exist for trial protocols of social science interventions. This project will involve an online Delphi process to adapt and modify items of the SPIRIT Statement for guidance on reporting protocols of social science intervention trials. Participants will involve interdisciplinary stakeholders who develop or use trial protocols (i.e., researchers, journal editors, funders, IRB members, and social science registry coordinators). Participants will rate potential items on their importance for inclusion in a reporting checklist for trial protocols of social science interventions. Participants will also suggest revised wording for items and provide feedback on implementing the guideline for its successful adoption amongst social scientists. This Delphi process will identify consensus from a diverse panel of experts on items to include in guidance for trial protocol content for social science interventions—leading to the development of a useful tool for increasing the transparency of trial protocols and registries, and thereby increase the reproducibility of social science intervention research.
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