Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the EQUATOR Network have launched their newest collaborative project to promote quality health research in the Americas: a Portuguese interface of the EQUATOR website that will translate key material on good research reporting and bring together existing Portuguese translations of reporting guidelines.
The Portuguese translation effort will build on previous work in Spanish to help improve the quality of health research in the Americas. The health research community is today focused on making its research outputs more transparent, more reproducible and more usable; these are also objectives of the research for health policies issued by PAHO’s Directing Council and the World Health Assembly. Academics have developed reporting guidelines and checklists to guide publication writing to support this goal, but most of the existing material only exists in English. PAHO and the EQUATOR Network have already created a Spanish-language interface on the EQUATOR website, which collects and promotes reporting guidelines. Adding the new Portuguese interface will widen the reach of reporting guidelines and further stimulate the delivery and use of quality research for healthcare across the Americas.
The EQUATOR Network advances reporting standards, mainly through its online database of reporting guidelines and related material. Since July 2010, the EQUATOR Network and PAHO have collaborated to develop a Spanish EQUATOR website (http://www.equator-network.org/library/spanish-resources-recursos-en-espanol/), translate international reporting guidelines into Spanish, and increase the participation of regional experts in these initiatives. The collaboration will now also provide access to reporting guidelines and other key material in Portuguese to all Portuguese-speaking researchers. The new Portuguese interface of the EQUATOR website is now live and can be accessed at www.equator-network.org/library/resources-in-portuguese-recursos-em-portugues/. The Spanish and Portuguese webpages will promote adherence to international reporting standards in the Americas, helping to raise the quality of publications and research reporting in line with PAHO’s Policy on Research for Health.
Quality research reporting also facilitates integrating research findings into health care, policy, and prevention. Reporting guidelines standardize how health research is reported, so no useful information is left out. Reports on the findings of health research often lack crucial detail, making it difficult for peer reviewers, readers, and others to assess the validity and reliability of the results. Poorly reported research cannot be used in systematic reviews, so is lost to the body of evidence used to make clinical decisions. To help improve research reporting and ensure no study is lost in this way, groups of academics have developed reporting guidelines and checklists. These guidelines cover general study designs and more specific topics, such as addressing equity in research or reporting adverse events. They provide detailed lists of the specific pieces of information that must be included in a study publication if it is to be properly understood; shopping lists for the writing healthcare researcher.
The EQUATOR Network is an international initiative set up to combat research waste by promoting reporting standards for health research. Its primary tool in improving research reporting is the EQUATOR website (www.equator-network.org). The site hosts a database of existing reporting guidelines and checklists, a collection numbering over 280. It also offers resources to support authors, publishers, librarians, teachers, peer reviewers, researchers, policy makers and other producers and users of research for health.
PAHO, founded in 1902, is the oldest international public health organization in the world. It works with its member countries to improve the health and the quality of life of the people of the Americas. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO.
PAHO’s Policy on Research for Health.
Portuguese interface of the EQUATOR website
Spanish interface of the EQUATOR website
How did a journalist end up in the EQUATOR Network team? That is a question I hear very often: what is a journalist doing working among medical doctors and statisticians? What is your role? Well, it started very early...