Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the June 2012 issue of the EQUATOR Newsletter.

The Newsletter includes important information about new reporting guidelines added to our library and other news and developments.
Our Newsletter is posted on the EQUATOR website and you are most welcome to share it with your colleagues.

The EQUATOR Network Team

Registration and call for abstracts now open - EQUATOR Scientific Symposium October 2012

ACT now: Accuracy, Completeness, and Transparency in health research reporting
11 - 12 October 2012; Freiburg, Germany

We are pleased to announce that the registration and call for abstracts for the 2012 scientific symposium and 4th EQUATOR Annual Lecture organised by the EQUATOR Network and the German Cochrane Centre is now open.

For registration details please visit:

Call for abstracts
For details of the call for abstracts and submission information please visit:

The symposium will be of great interest to health research scientists and clinicians, journal editors and peer reviewers, reporting guideline developers, publishers, research funders and other professionals involved in research education, research governance and the publication of medical research.

The focus of the meeting is to:
Highlight critical issues in health research reporting and its wider consequences
Present key findings from relevant scientific research; topics include:
Reporting quality of research studies in all areas of medicine
Common problems in research reporting (e.g. publication bias, selective reporting, inconsistencies between protocol and publication, misinterpretation of research findings)
Impact and consequences of poor reporting on systematic reviews and clinical guidelines, clinical practice, and patients’ care
Development of robust reporting guidelines
Implementation of reporting guidelines in journals, and by research and funding organisations
Initiatives to improve the transparency of the research literature (e.g. data sharing, registration of research projects, publication of protocols)
Development and delivery of educational and training programmes on rigorous research reporting and available guidelines
Discuss potential solutions for improvement of health research literature and share experiences

More information is available on the EQUATOR Network website:

With best wishes,
sent on behalf of the organising committee:

Gerd Antes, Britta Lang and Brigitte Weber (Freiburg)
Doug Altman, Shona Kirtley, Iveta Simera (Oxford)
The team of 'kongress & kommunikation' (Freiburg)

Read more on the EQUATOR Network website

New resources added

The following new resources have been added to the EQUATOR website:

Reporting guidelines

Lang TA, Talerico C, Siontis GCM. Documenting Clinical and Laboratory Images in Publications: The CLIP Principles. Chest. 2012;141(6):1626-1632. Link to abstract

Altman DG, McShane LM, Sauerbrei W, Taube SE. Reporting recommendations for tumor marker prognostic studies (REMARK): explanation and elaboration.
BMC Med. 2012;10:51. PMID: 22642691
PLoS Med 9(5): e1001216. Link to full-text

Harrington NG, Noar SM. Reporting standards for studies of tailored interventions. Health Educ Res. 2012;27(2):331-42. PMID: 22156230

Research ethics, publication ethics and good practice guidelines and resources

Standards and Operational Guidance for Ethics Review of Health-Related Research with Human Participants, WHO 2011

Guidance on scientific writing

Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Manuscript Preparation and Submission

EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles to Be Published in English, EASE 2011


Foster RL. Reporting guidelines: CONSORT, PRISMA, and SQUIRE. J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 2012 Jan;17(1):1-2. PMID: 22188266

Oberg AL, Poland GA. The process of continuous journal improvement: new author guidelines for statistical and analytical reporting in VACCINE. Vaccine. 2012;30(19):2915-7. PMID: 22482869


Grace Principles: Good ReseArch for Comparative Effectiveness

Research funders' guidance on reporting requirements

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme: Resources for Authors

Medical Research Council (MRC)
Good Research Practice (updated 2005)

Developing and evaluating complex interventions: new guidance (2008)

Ethics and research guidance

Craig P, Cooper C, Gunnell D, Haw S, Lawson K, Macintyre S, Ogilvie D, Petticrew M, Reeves B, Sutton M, Thompson S. Using natural experiments to evaluate population health interventions: new Medical Research Council guidance. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2012 May 10. [Epub ahead of print].
PMID: 22577181

General Medical Council (GMC)
Good practice in research and consent to research

Read more on the EQUATOR Network website

New reporting guidelines in development

The following guidelines are currently being developed:

CONSORT extension for reporting of health related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes from trials
The development of this extension is discussed in a BMJ blog and a comment has been published in the Lancet: PMID 22078674

CONSORT extension for reporting randomised controlled trials of social interventions
For additional development information please visit:

CENT (CONSORT Extension for N-of-1 Trials)
An official extension of the CONSORT 2010 Statement is underway for reporting N-of-1 trials. This guidance provides a set of essential items to include when preparing reports of prospectively planned, multiple crossover single patient trials, which may or may not be randomized.  The CENT guidance is expected to become available in late 2012. Read a letter to the editor in JAMA on the importance of N-of-1 trials.

PRISMA-extension for equity relevant reviews
The development of this extension is discussed in a BMJ blog and in a PLoS blog. For additional development information please visit:

The REporting of studies Conducted using Observational Routinely-collected Data (RECORD) statement
To develop reporting guidelines for observational studies using health data routinely collected for non-research purposes as an extension of the STROBE statement. A summary document has been prepared which includes a project overview, an outline of the main objectives and a call for stakeholders.

CIRCLe SMT project (Consensus on Interventions Reporting Criteria List Spinal Manipulative Therapy)
For additional development information please visit:

STROBE-RDS (Reporting guidelines for Respondent Driven Sampling studies)
To develop guidelines for the reporting of Respondent Driven Sampling studies. Adapted from the STROBE guidelines for cross-sectional studies. The draft checklist is now available.

Read more on the EQUATOR Network website

EQUATOR website re-design and library database development

To ensure that the website is current, engaging, user friendly and informative the EQUATOR Network Team have begun re-designing the website. We are also developing an online searchable library database to make it quicker and easier for users to locate relevant reporting guidelines. The new website and library database will be launched in October 2012.

Read more on the EQUATOR Network website

EQUATOR user survey now closed

Many thanks to everyone who took the time to complete our website user survey - we are very grateful for your valuable views and comments. We are currently analysing all the responses and these will be fed into our redesign specifications.

We are also very pleased to announce that the winner of the £50.00 Amazon voucher is Richard McGee from Sydney, Australia.

Read more on the EQUATOR Network website

Medical Library Association Award

Shona Kirtley, the EQUATOR Research Information Specialist, has been awarded a 2013 Cunningham International Fellowship Grant to attend the 2013 MLA conference in Boston, USA. The conference incorporates the 2013 Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the Medical Library Association (MLA ’13), the 11th International Congress on Medical Librarianship (ICML), the 7th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS), and the 6th International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC) and provides not only a wonderful professional development opportunity for Shona but also a valuable chance to raise awareness about EQUATOR and reporting guidelines and to form new collaborations with librarians from around the world.

Read more on the EQUATOR Network website

Draft concordat to support research integrity - April 2012

On the 24 January 2012 the EQUATOR Network highlighted a meeting convened by the BMJ and COPE to discuss research misconduct. Since this meeting, a concordat to support research integrity in the UK has been drawn up by Universities UK, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Research Councils UK, the Wellcome Trust and governments departments. The concordat, which outlines 5 key commitments to ensure that UK research strives to meet the highest possible standards of quality and integrity, is currently in draft form and has been made available for consultation until 11 May 2012. The draft concordat is available from: concordat to support research integrity

BMJ news item about the concordat

Original news item posted on 24 January 2012

"While plagiarism may be a nasty symptom of a sick system, it has probably never killed anybody while unreliable guidelines and misguided research undoubtedly have."

Earlier in January, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the BMJ convened a meeting on research misconduct that was attended by senior representatives from academia, government, funding agencies, and journal publishers.

An important outcome of the meeting was the agreement of delegates that it was not the relatively rare cases of serious scientific fraud that were the most damaging for science. Greater harm stemmed from much more widespread ‘lesser’ offenses, such as selective publishing of research to avoid publishing ‘disappointing’ results or the complete failure to publish any results from a study. 

These and similar problems in reporting research studies distort the scientific literature and provide an unreliable base for the development of systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines.  As Liz Wager writes so beautifully in her BMJ blog “while plagiarism may be a nasty symptom of a sick system, it has probably never killed anybody while unreliable guidelines and misguided research undoubtedly have”.

The consensus reached by meeting delegates, that research misconduct should be defined as “behaviour by a researcher, intentional or not, that falls short of good ethical and scientific standards,” is reported in the BMJ.

Brief articles summarising the meeting appeared in the BMJ and Nature (see references below).  A full meeting report, including a consensus statement, will be published soon on both the COPE website and in the BMJ.


Consensus Statement (Published 16 February 2012)

BMJ Meeting Summary

BMJ editorial on misconduct

BMJ blog on misconduct (by Elizabeth Wager)

Nature Meeting Summary

Nature editorial

Read more on the EQUATOR Network website
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