Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research

Developing your reporting guideline

Experienced guideline developers suggest holding a face-to-face consensus meeting. Before the meeting, they suggest running pre-meeting activities to generate a list of potential reporting-related items for discussing and prioritising at the meeting. The meeting is also used to plan the writing process and set the publication and dissemination strategy.

Pre-meeting: Identify and invite participants

Stakeholders with a wide range of expertise should be included in the wider development group, including, for example,:

We suggest sending invitations to join the group at least 6 months before the face-to-face meeting.

Pre-meeting: Generate a list of items (e.g., Delphi exercise)

A list of reporting items for discussion at the meeting can be generated from the original literature search and from expert consultation, then refined by wider consultation with stakeholders. Pre-meeting consultation also allows members of the development group who cannot attend the face-to-face meeting to give their input.

Experienced developers often use an email Delphi consensus process to invite stakeholders to rate items identified from the literature and/or to add missing items to the list. Iterative rounds can be used to further refine the list. If the final list remains unmanageable, the executive group can decide to merge similar items or remove items that were rated as less important.

Pre-meeting: Decide meeting details

The executive group should consider the following when planning the face-to-face meeting:

Face-to-face meeting

The face-to-face meeting should generally cover the following activities:


Navigate this toolkit

The guidance in this toolkit is based on the EQUATOR publication “Guidance for developers of health research reporting guidelines“. We hope you find the contents of this toolkit helpful. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the EQUATOR Network team by email, on Twitter, or on Facebook. We welcome any training materials or literature collections that you have found useful in your development of reporting guidelines!

This page was last updated on 3 July 2018