Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research

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EQUATOR Network: what we do and how we are organised

The EQUATOR Network is an ‘umbrella’ organisation that brings together researchers, medical journal editors, peer reviewers, developers of reporting guidelines, research funding bodies and other collaborators with mutual interest in improving the quality of research publications and of research itself.

We are developing into a global initiative covering all areas of health research and all nations, and actively involving all key stakeholders. We have launched the first four natronal centres that will substantially contribute to expanding EQUATOR activities: the UK EQUATOR Centre (also the EQUATOR Network’s head office), French EQUATOR Centre, Canadian EQUATOR Centre and Australasian Centre. The new centres will focus on national activities aimed at raising awareness and supporting adoption of good research reporting practices. They will work with partner organisations and initiatives and will also contribute to the work of the EQUATOR Network as a whole.

EQUATOR’s mission and goals

The EQUATOR mission is to achieve accurate, complete, and transparent reporting of all health research studies to support research reproducibility and usefulness. Our work increases the value of health research and helps to minimise avoidable waste of financial and human investments in health research projects.

To achieve its mission the EQUATOR Network has the following major goals:

Aside from its core activities of providing focused resources and training, EQUATOR is committed to research on current research and its publication to enhance the value of health-related research. Research topics include reviews of time trends in the nature and quality of publications; the development of tools and strategies to improve the planning, design, conduct/management and reporting of biomedical research; and investigating strategies to help journals to improve the quality of manuscripts.

The EQUATOR Network is directed by an international Steering Group that brings together leading experts in health research methodology, statistics, reporting and editorial work.

Steering Group members:

Former Steering Group members:

Biographies

Doug Altman

Professor Doug Altman is Professor of Statistics in Medicine at the Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. He is a co-founder of the EQUATOR Network and a chair of the EQUATOR Steering Group. In May 2014 he became Director of the UK EQUATOR Centre.

Doug has published over 300 articles in peer reviewed journals, including many aimed at clarifying statistical methods and ideas for medical researchers. He is author of Practical Statistics for Medical Research (1991) and co-editor of Statistics with Confidence (1989 and 2000) and Systematic Reviews in Health Care (1995 and 2001). He is statistical advisor to the Cochrane Collaboration and the BMJ. Doug has a long-standing interest in the reporting of medical research, and is an executive member of several groups working on reporting guidelines, including CONSORT for randomised trials, QUOROM / PRISMA for systematic reviews, STROBE for epidemiological studies, and REMARK for tumour marker prognostic studies.

Trish Groves

Trish Groves trained in medicine and psychiatry before going to the BMJ in 1989, where she is deputy editor and head of research. She is also editor-in-chief of the online-only journal BMJ Open. Her current focus is to explore what practical support might be needed to increase the capabilities for health research in institutions in “emerging economies”.

While at the BMJ, Trish has been a part-time honorary research fellow at the School for Public Policy, UCL; has contributed to European Science Foundation proposals for revising the EU Clinical Trials Directive; served on the council of the Committee on Publication Ethics; and helped develop research reporting statements including CONSORT 2010, SPIRIT, and PRISMA extensions. She has presented for TV and radio in the UK and for the BBC World Service, and she co-wrote the HarperCollins Consumer’s Guide to Mental Health (1996).

Ana Marušić

Ana MarusicDr Ana Marušić is Professor of Anatomy and Chair of the Department of Research in Biomedicine and Health at the University of Split School of Medicine, Split, Croatia. She is also co-editor in chief of the Croatian Medical Journal, a member journal of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). She took part in developing statements on mandatory registration of clinical trials and uniform form for declaring conflict of interest. She has been the President of the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), President of the Council of Science Editors (CSE), and Council member of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE).

Ana has published more than 150 articles in peer reviewed journals. Her primary research interest is focused on the interactions between the immune and bone systems, but also on peer review and medical educational. Apart from teaching anatomy, she teaches university students the principles of research methodology and scientific communication in a mandatory undergraduate course. She is the co-author of a textbook Principles of Research in Medicine (first edition in 1996), now published both in Croatian and English. She is an active member of the Croatian branch of the Cochrane Collaboration, Chair of the Board of the Croatian Institute of Global Health, and creator of the first Croatian public registry of clinical trials.

David Moher

David MoherDr David Moher is a senior scientist with the Ottawa Health Research Institute. He is also Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, and holds a University of Ottawa Research Chair. In May 2014 he became Director of the Canadian EQUATOR Centre.

David has published more than 150 papers, including approximately 40 systematic reviews and more than 50 articles on the methodology of conducting and reporting clinical trials and systematic reviews. He is Director of the University of Ottawa’s Evidence-based Practice Center, convenor of the Cochrane Collaboration’s Bias Methods Group, and an editorial board member of several journals. He helped develop many reporting guidelines, including the CONSORT, QUOROM / PRISMA, MOOSE, and STARD Statements.

Philippe Ravaud

philippe ravaudProfessor Philippe Ravaud is Director of the Centre of Epidemiology at the Hotel-Dieu (Paris), Director of the French Cochrane Centre, Director of the INSERM Research Team “Methods of therapeutic evaluation of chronic diseases”, and a senior lecturer at Paris Descartes University and Columbia University (Mailman School of Public Health). In May 2014 he became Director of the French EQUATOR Centre.

Philippe received his MD from Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris and completed a residence in rheumatology in the Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris network. In parallel, he received an MSc in Epidemiology and a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Nancy (France). For over 15 years his primary research has been evaluating and developing methodological solutions to assess treatments in patients with chronic diseases. The methods used are multiple (e.g., methodological systematic reviews, simulations, analytical methods, development of sham trials). His recent research has addressed evaluating non-pharmacological treatments; developing and validating endpoints; meta-analyses and network meta-analyses; and interpretating and communicating research results. His publication record includes more than 280 peer-reviewed papers, including 28 in the “big 6″ medical journals; he is the first or last author for more than 110 articles.

Iveta Simera

Dr Iveta Simera is the Senior Operations & Development Manager at The Global Health Network (TGHN), Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health, University of Oxford, UK. She joined the Centre for Statistics in Medicine in Oxford in 2006 to help establish the EQUATOR programme. As Deputy Director of the UK EQUATOR Centre, she took a lead role in the UK EQUATOR Centre’s programme development, focusing on enhancing the Network’s online resources, education and international collaborative activities. Since moving to TGHN in 2017, she has maintained her close ties with the EQUATOR Network as a UK EQUATOR Centre Fellow.

Iveta has a PhD degree in Plant Genetics from Charles University in Prague and a degree in Business Administration from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. She has a broad research and project management experience including laboratory research, development of systematic reviews and clinical and reporting guidelines. Since moving to England in 2000, she has held various research positions at the Cochrane Collaboration, Royal College of Nursing Institute, and at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London. Iveta has a longstanding interest in improving the quality of health research studies and publications and has published numerous articles on this topic (see list of publications). She is a member of the NHS Oxford Research Ethics Committee.

 

Since its launch in 2008, the programme has already achieved important milestones:

 

The work of EQUATOR increases the usability of available research evidence. Our work supports the work of organisations such as the Cochrane Collaboration in the development of systematic reviews and NICE in the development of clinical practice guidelines. EQUATOR also helps research funders maximise the utility of new information arising from the research they fund.

Complete, accurate and transparent reporting is an integral part of responsible research conduct. Reporting guidelines are important tools for achieving high standards in reporting health studies. In order to reach their potential, reporting guidelines need to be used widely and routinely by researchers/authors, editors and peer reviewers. This effort needs to be strongly supported by research funders and regulatory bodies.

EQUATOR is a long-term programme of research support and improvement and not a closed fixed term project. Ongoing EQUATOR activities are expected to increase the usability and value of published research both in clinical practice and to aid further research, thus ensuring that maximum value is gained from financial investment in health research.