Both primary and secondary empirical studies should really be carefully planned, and the plan documented as a research protocol. Undertaking the creation of a protocol before starting the study is good practice, as is having one or more people review the protocol to help identify potential problems or any gaps.
We ourselves have found it useful to develop protocols, and in doing so, to employ a template to act as an aid-memoire, reminding us of the issues that the protocol will need to address for a particular form of study. This page provides links to the templates – if you use them and have any feedback, good or bad, we would appreciate receiving this please.
All templates were updated in February 2023 to reflect recent guidelines, including SEGRESS.