Reporting guidelines for health research: protocol for a cross-sectional analysis of the EQUATOR Network Library

Ferrán Catalá-López, Adolfo Alonso-Arroyo, Matthew J Page, Brian Hutton, Manuel Ridao, Rafael Tabarés-Seisdedos, Rafael Aleixandre-Benavent, David Moher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Transparency and completeness of health research is highly variable, with important deficiencies in the reporting of methods and results of studies. Reporting guidelines aim to improve transparency and quality of research reports, and are often developed by consortia of journal editors, peer reviewers, authors, consumers and other key stakeholders. The objective of this study will be to investigate the characteristics of scientific collaboration among developers and the citation metrics of reporting guidelines of health research. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is the study protocol for a cross-sectional analysis of completed reporting guidelines indexed in the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research Network Library. We will search PubMed/MEDLINE and the Web of Science. Screening, selection and data abstraction will be conducted by one researcher and verified by a second researcher. Potential discrepancies will be resolved via discussion. We will include published papers of reporting guidelines written in English. Published papers will have to meet the definition of a reporting guideline related to health research (eg, a checklist, flow diagram or explicit text), with no restrictions by study design, medical specialty, disease or condition. Raw data from each included paper (including title, publication year, journal, subject category, keywords, citations, and the authors' names, author's affiliated institution and country) will be exported from the Web of Science. Descriptive analyses will be conducted (including the number of papers, citations, authors, countries, journals, keywords and main collaboration metrics). We will identify the most prolific authors, institutions, countries, journals and the most cited papers. Network analyses will be carried out to study the structure of collaborations. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No ethical approval will be required. Findings from this study will be published in peer-reviewed journals. All data will be deposited in a cross-disciplinary public repository. It is anticipated the study findings could be relevant to a variety of audiences.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere022769
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019


  • Authorship
  • Biomedical Research
  • Network Analysis
  • Reporting Guidelines
  • Research Networks
  • research reporting
  • Scientific Collaboration

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