This page contains advice about how to search for reporting guidelines and how to use the EQUATOR website more generally.
Searching for reporting guidelines
The reporting guidelines database is available at /reporting-guidelines/ and is linked to from both the homepage and the library landing page.
On landing on the reporting guidelines search page the page automatically displays all the reporting guidelines that are included in the database in the search results section directly below the search panel. The database of reporting guidelines has been designed to allow both browsing by category and free-text searching.
Three drop-down browsing category menus are available:
- study type
- clinical area
- section of report.
This allows you to approach your search from different standpoints for example:
- if you know what type of study you are looking for a reporting guideline for (i.e. you want to write up an observational study)
- if you work in ophthalmology and want to find out if any specific reporting guidelines exist for reporting studies within your clinical speciality
- if you need advice on how to report a specific section of your research (i.e. how to write an abstract).
When you select a browse category heading the search results will automatically refresh to display the relevant guidelines that match your selection. You can select one or more headings from the browse categories to refine your search results but please bear in mind that this may limit your results too much and return zero results. Also, the database remembers previously selected categories and so please remember to click ‘start again’ to clear your previous search selections before beginning a new search.
One or more terms can be entered into the free-text search box. Click ‘search reporting guidelines’ to perform the search. Please be aware that ‘exact match’ searching is being performed and therefore do not use Boolean operators (and, or, not) as this will return zero results.
It is possible to combine headings from the browse categories with free-text search terms. However, again please bear in mind that this may limit your results too much, returning zero results. The database search page remembers previously selected browse categories and so please ensure that you click ‘start again’ to clear your previous search selections before beginning a new search.
Search results display
When a search is performed the results section automatically displays key generic reporting guidelines (highlighted in green) at the top of the search results list with the rest of the relevant search results sorted below by the date that the reporting guideline was added to the website (most recent first). To change the order of the results display click on the link at the top of the search results list which will display the most recently added guidelines first.
To view bibliographic details for each guideline click on the reporting guideline title. This opens the full database record for the selected guideline which includes:
- links to the abstract or full-text
- links to translations (where available)
- links to relevant checklists and flow diagrams
- links to relevant extensions
- links to explanation and elaboration papers
- other important information
To return to the search results list, from the full record display, click on your browser ‘back’ button.
We are very keen to receive feedback regarding any aspect of the reporting guideline search (the browsing categories, free-text search, whether you can find the guidelines you are looking for etc.) in order for us to ensure that we can improve the search experience. Please email Shona Kirtley (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any comments, questions or suggestions.
How to use the EQUATOR Website
The EQUATOR website is free to use and no registration is required. It is arranged around the top menu bar allowing easy access to the contents of our library, toolkits, news, blog, courses and events and about us sections. A website-wide free-text search is available at the bottom right-hand corner of each page.
Please do contact us if you are unable to locate the information that you need or if you have any suggestions or comments.