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Health Research Reporting Guidelines, Study Execution Manuals, Critical Appraisal, Risk of Bias, & Non-reporting Biases

About Health Research Reporting Guidelines

Health research 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 elements such as descriptions of protocol deviations with rationale as well as data for variables not specified in the protocol and 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).

Health Research Reporting Guidelines Clearinghouses


Housed at: The EQUATOR Network

  • Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research.
  • Clearinghouse for health research reporting guidelines for human research and pre-clinical animal research.

Meridian Network

Housed at: Iowa State University

  • Clearinghouse for reporting guidelines related to animal research.

Individual Reporting Guidelines Web Sites

The reporting guidelines and extensions of each site listed below are all included on the EQUATOR Network site.

ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) Guidelines

Produced by: The National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R)

  • Provides a history of ARRIVE and the most current versions of ARRIVE as well as ARRIVE translations to other languages.

CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) Statement

Produced by: CONSORT

  • Provides a history of CONSORT and the most current versions of CONSORT and CONSORT extensions as well as CONSORT translations to other languages.
  • NOTE: The TIDieR extension (found at the EQUATOR Network) can be used with CONSORT but is not a publication from CONSORT.
  • Developing a protocol? See SPIRIT.

COSMIN Checklists for Assessing Study Qualities

Stands for: COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments
Additional information: About the initiative

  • Scroll down to view the COSMIN Reporting Guideline for studies on measurement properties

PRISMA (Preferred reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) Statement

Produced by: Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Oxford, and Monash University

  • Provides a history of PRISMA and the most current versions of PRISMA and PRISMA extensions (including PRISMA-P for protocols) as well as PRISMA translations to other languages.

SPIRIT (Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials) Statement

Produced by: The SPIRIT Group

  • Provides a history of SPIRIT and the most current versions of SPIRIT and SPIRIT extensions as well as SPIRIT translations to other languages.

SQUIRE (Standards for QUality Improvement Reporting Excellence) Statement

Produced by: SQUIRE

  • Provides a history of SQUIRE and the most current versions of SQUIRE and SQUIRE extensions as well as SQUIRE translations to other languages.

RECORD (REporting of studies Conducted using Observational Routinely-collected Data)

Produced by:

  • REporting of studies Conducted using Observational Routinely-collected Data (RECORD) is an international collaborative which will develop reporting guidelines for studies conducted using routinely-collected health data (such as health administrative data, electronic medical record data, primary care surveillance data, and disease registries).