Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research

Tools and templates for implementing reporting guidelines

We produce tools and templates for you to easily implement reporting guidelines in your existing journal workflow

You’ll find

If you would like to share your journal’s templates and tools for inclusion in this toolkit, please contact us on equator@csm.ox.ac.uk. We’d also love to hear whether these tools are useful in your journal!

Find the right reporting guideline

We have produced a decision-making tool with Penelope Research to help your authors find the right reporting guideline. The EQUATOR Wizard is available as a plug-in for your website. You can get the wizard here. The tool was trialed by BioMed Central in 2016. Diana Marshall and Daniel Shanahan report back:

Use of reporting guidelines has been associated with improvement in the reporting of the published study; however, with over 300 reporting guidelines now available from the EQUATOR Network, authors may find it difficult to identify the guidelines that are relevant for their study.

In a before-after analysis, BioMed Central used a decision-tree tool to support authors in identifying the relevant guidelines for their study type. The tool – made by Penelope Research – was embedded in the submission system for four journals in the BMC series. In total, 590 manuscripts were included in this analysis – 300 in the before cohort and 290 in the after. There was a significant increase in manuscripts where authors had identified the correct reporting guidelines for their study type – 16% in the before cohort and 25% in the after cohort. There was also a significant decrease in manuscripts where authors incorrectly stated that there were no relevant guidelines – 27% in the before cohort and 16% in the after cohort. These results suggest that providing authors with a tool to assist in identifying the correct reporting guidelines for their study improved the identification of the correct reporting guidelines.

For more information on the pilot, download (PDF) the results poster presented at the 8th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing in September 2016.

Letters to authors

The following templates are designed for use by journals requiring reporting guidelines and checking compliance with the policy by either editorial staff or peer reviewers.

Keep checking back for more tools and templates to help you include reporting guidelines in your journal’s workflow.