B – Reporting guidelines for health research: a review

Moher D, Weeks L, Ocampo M et al. Describing reporting guidelines for health research: a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2011;64(7):718-742
(doi: 10.1016/j.clinepi.2010.09.013)

This review includes 81 reporting guidelines, most of which have been developed in the last 10 years. Fifty-eight percent of them are classified as new guidance. The authors believe that a more rigorous approach for developing reporting guidelines is needed. The results of the review indicate that guidelines developers provide little information about the guideline development process. Publishing better descriptions on how reporting guidelines were developed will allow potential users to assess the robustness of the provided recommendations. An assessment tool could also be developed to help authors and editors to create and evaluate specific reporting guidelines. Journal editors could be more confident in endorsing reporting guidelines that have followed these approaches.