Reporting guidelines are designed to improve the reporting of health research. They are not designed to assess study execution although you may find issues if the author is clear and transparent. An author who faithfully follows a reporting guideline will include descriptions of protocol deviations with rationale including any and all new statistical analyses not specified in the protocol.
Reporting guidelines consist of 4 parts:
- A checklist of elements that should be included in each section of the paper;
- A flowchart or flow diagram;
- The Explanation & Elaboration (E&E) document which explains why each element is included in a reporting guideline and provides examples of best practices for reporting each element;
- Guideline extensions which expand on a particular aspect of the study methodology (such as a more complete of the intervention) or expands on the description based on the subject of the study (Chinese acupuncture).
Reporting Guideline Clearinghouses
Individual Reporting Guidelines Web Sites
A few reporting guidelines have their own Web sites in addition to being included on the EQUATOR Network site.