1. Gould, Kathleen Ahern PhD, RN

Article Content

Writing concisely and accurately is always a challenge. Researchers face the unique task of presenting complex methodologies and findings with supporting tables and graphics in a logical sequence. Fortunately, guidelines exist to provide structure for experimental and nonexperimental study designs. Often, publishers recommend that authors follow specific reporting guidelines. The EQUATOR Network consolidates these resources and provides a portal for guidelines and tools to facilitate publication.


EQUATOR is the acronym for "Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research." This international organization works to improve the reliability and value of medical research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of research studies.


This umbrella organization brings together researchers, medical journal editors, peer reviewers, developers of reporting guidelines, research funding bodies, and other collaborators with mutual interest in improving the quality of research publications and of research itself. The Web site displays 108 key reporting guidelines, some available in languages other than English.1 The Table provides some examples.

TABLE Examples of Re... - Click to enlarge in new windowTABLE Examples of Reporting Guidelines

Other resources include blogs, newsletters, and toolkits for authors, librarians, editors, peer reviewers, and educators. Many resources extend beyond guidelines and offer guidance and examples of robust reporting. For example, EQUATOR links to systematic reviews provide direct access to the following:


* Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and Standards for the Reporting of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR), Cochrane Collaboration


* The HuGENETM HuGE Review Handbook, version 1.0. Guidelines for systematic review and meta-analysis of gene disease association studies


* Systematic Reviews of Genetic Association Studies, PLoS


* AHRQ 2008-Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews1



Other resources include links to online courses for ethical conduct for research such as the following:


* COPE introduction to publication ethics


* Online Research Ethics Course, Office of Research Integrity (ORI), United States


* Resources for Research Ethics Education, University of California, United States



The site contains a Library page that provides easy access to information on guideline translations, scientific writing, guidance developed by editorial groups, research funders' guidance, and reporting requirements. Information is updated consistently to report guidelines that are currently under development.


The EQUATOR Network is a tremendous asset for anyone involved in scholarly publication. Visit before your next project or publication!




1. The EQUATOR Home page. The EQUATOR Network and UK EQUATOR Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) University of Oxford Botnar Research Centre, Oxford, UK. Accessed August 4, 2016. [Context Link]