Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research

More resources on developing a reporting guideline

The EQUATOR team published guidance on developing a reporting guideline in 2010. It draws on the team’s extensive experience in the development of reporting guidelines and offers practical guidance to scientists considering developing new guidelines or extending and updating existing guidance. The guidance also draws on the results of a survey of reporting guideline developers (PMID: 18578566) conducted by the EQUATOR team in 2008 and an early description of the process of developing a reporting guideline (PMID: 16464421), published in Spanish in 2005.

The GREET reporting guideline development team used the EQUATOR guidance when developing their guideline. Their protocol published in BMC Medical Education is a good example of a robust plan for a reporting guideline.

We recommend publishing an Explanation and Elaboration document alongside your reporting guideline. This E&E document describes each item in your checklist, why it is important, and gives examples of good reporting. The CONSORT for Abstracts Extension (PMID: 18215107) and STROBE Statement (PMID: 17941714) E&E documents are good examples.

The SQUIRE guideline was first published in 2005, updated in 2008, and updated again in 2015. The development plan included these periodic updates. Read more about the development of the SQUIRE Statement at their dedicated website.

The CONSORT guideline was first published in 1996, updated in 2001, and updated again in 2010. Read more about the development of the CONSORT Statement at their dedicated website.

The CONSORT extension for trials assessing nonpharmacologic treatments (PMID: 18283201) provides a good example of the difference between a new guideline and an extension of an existing guideline, and how to develop and publish an extension.


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 28 June 2018