Improving research publication and dissemination processes is directly linked to more transparent, reproducible and usable research. Reporting guidelines are simple tools that can help researchers to report every important detail about their study when writing a paper. Reports that follow these reporting recommendations are easier to assess and use in systematic reviews, clinical guidelines and practice; reporting guidelines ensure that research papers can be used by all health research stakeholders.
The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network (www.equator-network.org) is an international initiative founded in 2006 to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature. We support transparent and accurate reporting by collecting published reporting guidelines, promoting their use, and developing resources and training for health researchers.
There have been extensive changes in the research reporting landscape over our first 10 years of operation. We have collected over 350 reporting guidelines available in our database, developed by international groups of experts in response to identified problems in reporting in certain study types or clinical areas. Many journals and funders now endorse the use of reporting guidelines, in some case requiring researchers to use them.
We will summarise the latest research on the quality of the published scientific literature and the impact of reporting guidelines, showing a slow but clear improvement. We will present the EQUATOR Network’s body of work over the past decade, focusing on our expanding online resources, extensive training programme, and collaborations with organisations such as the Pan American Health Organisation. We will also introduce our new EQUATOR collaboration programme, inviting researchers, policy makers, editors, peer reviewers, consumers, activists, students, lecturers, and anyone interested in improving the quality of research reporting and research itself to join us in promoting reporting guidelines and good research reporting.