Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research


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.

Browse search
Three drop-down browsing category menus are available:

This allows you to approach your search from different standpoints for example:

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.

Free-text 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:

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 (shona.kirtley@csm.ox.ac.uk) 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.

Links to our EQUATOR Spanish web pages, our EQUATOR Portuguese web pages and our EQUATOR German web pages are provided in the top right-hand corner of the homepage.

Please do contact us if you are unable to locate the information that you need or if you have any suggestions or comments.