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Table 1 Factors promoting the likelihood of acceptance or rejection from Implementation Science and Implementation Science Communications by manuscript type

From: Implementation Science and Implementation Science Communications: our aims, scope, and reporting expectations

Type of manuscript Factors promoting the likelihood of acceptance in Implementation Science Factors promoting the likelihood of rejection from Implementation Science Required reporting guideline checklist Possibility of acceptance in Implementation Science Communications
Effectiveness Studies that fit our journal scope and that employ rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental designs (i.e., designs eligible for inclusion in Cochrane EPOC reviews) and evaluate the implementation of an evidence-based practice or policy, or de-implementation of those demonstrated to be of low or no clinical benefit Studies which lack a rigorous experimental study design such as quality improvement reports, service evaluations, or uncontrolled before-after studies CONSORT for trials Observational outcome studies, for example, those that use case study design, smaller pilot studies, pre-implementation studies, studies focused on dissemination using innovative approaches, and/or descriptive studies
Studies evaluating the effectiveness of novel clinical, organizational, public health, or policy interventions
Economic evaluation Any cost-effectiveness analysis that compares the costs and outcomes of two or more implementation strategies Cost and cost consequences’ analysis where disaggregated costs and outcomes are presented CHEERS Costing analyses that do not provide clear effectiveness findings but exemplify methods for economic study in implementation and dissemination; descriptive cost analyses
Implementation intervention development reports Prepared and submitted prior to the reporting of the effectiveness of the intervention Post hoc submission (submitted after the reporting of the effectiveness of the intervention) TIDIER, STARI Implementation Science Communications will also consider reports of intervention development after reporting on effectiveness in some cases
Plans for (robust) evaluation are made explicit No plans for (robust) evaluation
Providing empirical and/or theoretical rationale, typically using a stepwise approach Non-transparent linkages between interventions and preceding analysis
Methodology Articles that present methods which may either be completely new or offer an improvement to an existing method Descriptive accounts of largely established methods without any associated novel methodological insights N/A Descriptive implementation methods, which offer high-quality application of existing models, theories, and frameworks within specific health settings
Articles reporting empirical comparisons of one or more methodological approaches or which clearly state what they add to the existing literature
Implementation pilot and feasibility studies Studies that fit our journal scope and are conducted with the explicit purpose of assessing feasibility and planning for an intervention that is expected to contribute to existing knowledge No justification for conduct CONSORT pilot and feasibility study checklist Well-conducted pilot and feasibility studies providing important pilot outcomes: effect size estimates, contextual factors, assessment of determinants of implementation, feasibility, acceptability, and other implementation-focused outcomes
Over claim on the basis of results
Studies indicating how a subsequent study will draw from the pilot study
Clear plans for further evaluation or where there are clear reasons for not
Implementation process evaluation Studies that fit our journal scope and are submitted contemporaneously with or following reports of intervention effectiveness and that take account of the main evaluation outcomes Process evaluations submitted in advance of the conduct of the main effectiveness analysis (it cannot be clear if they are explaining an effect or the absence of an effect)   Implementation process evaluation reports that reflect lessons learned that may generalize to other work
Process evaluations of complex clinical or preventive interventions, which have substantial implementation challenges (e.g., in the context of clinical trials) may also be published
Studies evaluating the fidelity of implementation, mechanisms of impact, and or contextual influences on implementation and outcomes Process evaluations that do not take account of the main evaluation outcomes
Process evaluations of clinical or preventive interventions
Protocols Protocols for innovative or very large scale studies that fit our journal scope and inclusion criteria for rigorous study designs with an emphasis on experimental design, that have been through a competitive peer review process to receive funding from a nationally or internationally recognized research agency, that have received appropriate ethics review board approval, and that have been submitted within 12 months of ethics approval Protocols that have not been the subject of peer review by a national or international research agency SPIRIT Protocols for pilot and feasibility studies and smaller scale studies that fit our journal scope and inclusion criteria for study designs, including quasi-experimental and other study designs. We may accept protocols for multi-site quality improvement or service evaluations if they meet other criteria below, that have been through a competitive peer review process to receive funding from a regionally, nationally, or internationally recognized research agency, that have received appropriate ethics review board (or equivalent) approval, and that have been submitted within three possible time points: (1) within 3 months of ethics approval, (2) prior to enrolment of the first participant/cluster, and (3) before the end of participant/cluster recruitment (i.e., prior to the commencement of data cleaning or analysis)
Protocols that have not received ethics review board approval
Protocols for quality improvement or service evaluations, which lack a rigorous study design
Protocols for pilot or feasibility studies
Protocols for systematic reviews and other types of synthesis focused on implementation or dissemination research
Protocols that are submitted for studies where data cleaning and analysis have begun
Qualitative and mixed methods studies Studies that fit the journal scope and meet applicable criteria for quality and validity Studies where there are doubts about whether planned data saturation has been achieved COREQ or RATS Studies that focus on smaller samples or rely on descriptive qualitative methods only; mixed methods studies with appropriate design
Single-site case studies with limited typicality or transferability
Studies that fail to link to relevant theory or, without contextualization and with little reference to previous relevant qualitative studies or reviews
Short reports Brief reports of data from original research which present relatively modest advances in knowledge or methods Reports of meetings, “doing implementation” or “lessons learned” N/A The initial scope of Implementation Science Communications may include meeting short reports and brief descriptions of lessons learned
Systematic reviews and other syntheses Systematic reviews and other types of synthesis (such as rapid, realist, or scoping) that fit our journal scope and which may cover issues such as the effects of implementation interventions and influences on the uptake of evidence Non-systematic or narrative literature reviews that fail to use explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research PRISMA Narrative and other types of reviews may be accepted
RAMESES for realist reviews
Reviews and syntheses that fail to adhere to recognized quality and reporting standards
Research on education in implementation science Empirical evaluation of training programs and materials for Implementation Science Description of educational programs and materials   Implementation Science Communications may also publish pilot and small studies in this domain
Debate Papers which question or challenge existing implementation policies, practices, evidence, or theory and suggest modifications or alternatives; clearly contextualized in the current literature Papers which fail to contextualize in the literature or demonstrate how they build upon the existing implementation research literature; unlikely to be accepted in Implementation Science if not based on a systematic review of the literature No checklist required; however, note preference for reviews over pure debate Non-systematic review-based papers may be accepted in Implementation Science Communications if interesting concepts are discussed and/or the authors make the case that a systematic review is not feasible or appropriate