BACKGROUND: In order to conduct good implementation science research, it will be necessary to recruit and obtain good cooperation and comprehensive information from complete medical practice organizations. The goal of this paper is to report an effective example of such a recruitment effort for a study of the organizational aspects of depression care quality. METHODS: There were 41 medical groups in the Minnesota region that were eligible for participation in the study because they had sufficient numbers of patients with depression. We documented the steps required to both recruit their participation in this study and obtain their completion of two questionnaire surveys and two telephone interviews. RESULTS: All 41 medical groups agreed to participate and consented to our use of confidential data about their care quality. In addition, all 82 medical directors and quality improvement coordinators completed the necessary questionnaires and interviews. The key factors explaining this success can be summarized as the seven R's: Relationships, Reputation, Requirements, Rewards, Reciprocity, Resolution, and Respect. CONCLUSION: While all studies will not have all of these factors in such good alignment, attention to them may be important to other efforts to add to our knowledge of implementation science.