Everybody for joining us. We’ve got another one from oxford. We’ve got a fair few from oxford which is great. That’s where we’re all from um but also it’s wonderful to see so many people joining us from all the way around the world with some really lovely goals for today. So thank you everybody for sharing um so this session. This webinar is um a webinar on enhancing your writing and your peer review by using reporting guidelines. And it’s delivered by those of us from the uk equator center now. The uk equator center is part of the equator network which is an international organization aiming to enhance the quality and transparency of health research biomed research international, pharmacological research by improving the quality of health research biomed research international, pharmacological research writing. And we do this because all of the research biomed research international, pharmacological research you do is based on existing literature so by improving how people write about their research biomed research international, pharmacological research today. We’re ensuring better quality research biomed research international, pharmacological research tomorrow and we do this by raising awareness of these amazing tools called reporting guidelines. We host a website filled with resources on academic writing including all of the reporting guidelines for human research biomed research international, pharmacological research and many of those animal research biomed research international, pharmacological research and we offer education and training and before we start a huge thank you to cancer research biomed research international, pharmacological research uk and the mihr for funding. The uk equator centre’s program of research biomed research international, pharmacological research and training. So in this session we’re going to talk about the purpose of a journal article. Which is the thing. We’re using reporting guidelines for we’ll talk about what these tools called reporting guidelines are and we’ll talk about how they can be helpful both in producing your own papers and when you are reviewing other people’s papers in peer review whether formally or informally and then we’ll cover how to choose appropriate reporting guidelines for your work and we’re going to finish with a panel chat a discussion with reporting guideline experts from the uk equator center. Where you can ask any question you’ve ever had about reporting guidelines where they come from how to develop them anything like that so i’m jen de bayer.
I’ve got a background in microbiology. And in academic copy editing and i’ll be taking the first portion of this session and i’ll be. Jane joined in the second portion of the session with by my colleagues gary collins shona curtly patricia legulo michael and michael schlissel. They’re all specialists in reporting guidelines. But i’ll introduce them all properly later so fantastic. Let’s get going the purpose of a journal article so i don’t want to just talk at you for the better part of an hour. That’d be boring. So why do you do research biomed research international, pharmacological research. Let me know why. Do you do research biomed research international, pharmacological research if you do research biomed research international, pharmacological research. If you don’t do research biomed research international, pharmacological research why do you think people do research biomed research international, pharmacological research. What’s the purpose. So you just type it in the chat katherine. I’m sorry so to answer questions. Uh to full scientific curiosity yeah answering questions fulfilling scientific curiosity anything else. Any other reasons why we do research biomed research international, pharmacological research understand disease or the factors associated with the disease lovely. Yeah improve care. Yeah improve people’s lives yes discover something new. Yes improve humankind. Well-being love it to find out if something works. Yes um in medicine aiming to improve clinical practice love it. These are fantastic. I think we um we’re kind of going around the same sort of topics which is great so answering questions fantastic. Thank you everybody for sharing your reasons for doing research biomed research international, pharmacological research. Validating findings confirming current evidence understanding the world. These are all wonderful. I love it. These are really great reasons for doing research biomed research international, pharmacological research and they are different reasons. People have different reasons for doing research biomed research international, pharmacological research but when it comes down to it i think you’re all talking about a very similar thing. Which is that most of us want to do something with our research biomed research international, pharmacological research. We want it to change the world in some way we want to maybe change. How other research biomed research international, pharmacological research is done or how people think about something or maybe we want public policy to change or we want health care to change.
We want our research biomed research international, pharmacological research to be used by somebody to do something and in biomed one of these big underlying reasons that a lot of you have mentioned is improve health whether that’s human health or animal health. The only and the only way our research biomed research international, pharmacological research can do this is if it reaches the people who need the research biomed research international, pharmacological research who can use the research biomed research international, pharmacological research to make this change. So who do you hope will use your research biomed research international, pharmacological research. Who’s the list of people that you hope will use your research biomed research international, pharmacological research. We’ll all have somebody different. Who’s going to use your research biomed research international, pharmacological research. Other research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers healthcare professionals academia. Yeah policymakers clinicians frontline healthcare professionals patients. Yes research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers makers regulators government patient advocacy groups leaders. I love all of these fantastic future generation of research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers uh companies who’ve got a stake in this yes pharma companies. Yes we’ve got loads of fantastic options here lovely. Thank you everyone for sharing so yes. I think i’ve got a few of these. I think you’ve covered everything. I’m going to say so. Our research biomed research international, pharmacological research users they can be way broader than we sometimes think because sometimes we just think oh research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers maybe just like us but maybe research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers from every bit of research biomed research international, pharmacological research laboratory to clinical trial and from various different subfields from our own yes clinical practitioners professional practitioners who might use our work systematic reviewers comparing our results to other results people patience understanding their healthcare understanding their world professional organizations to change practice guidelines government public policies. All of these things fantastic. These are all the kinds of people who might want to use our work and to do that. They need to understand our work and usually all they get from us. As a research biomed research international, pharmacological researcher is a journal article and that journal article needs to include everything that each of those users need to understand judge and use our work and most of them never get a chance to have a conversation with us to clarify.
What exactly we did so that journal article needs to work for all of those potential users without us as the research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers standing next to that person and clarifying so what do users need. They need something that is easy to read easy to understand and has enough detail for their use. When we’re writing journal articles we’ve got to be thinking about our users and thinking about these three things we want simple clear complete journal articles. And we’re focusing on this element of completeness in this webinar. This element of completeness. Does it have all the detail and you would think yes. Of course. The problem is in human research biomed research international, pharmacological research in every clinical area studied thus far poorly reported the information that readers need to judge the study’s validity decide whether sensible decisions were made and combine study results together in synthesis is simply missing so one example. There was a big review that looked at 21 000 clinical trials used in 2 000 systematic reviews. They use the proportion of items marked at unclear risk of bias as a proxy for poor reporting so unclear means. There’s not enough information in the paper to decide if it’s at high or low risk of bias. It’s just missing. And they looked at five elements of the methods which are all objective. Yes it’s there or no it’s not elements so it was sequence generation allocation concealment participant and personnel blinding assessor blinding and incomplete data outcome data. And they found that in 2011 to 2014 in that time period we were still at over 20 of the of those papers. We’re not reporting those elements. We’re still that bad. We’re still missing that much information. Why why do authors leave this information out. It’s not because they leave it out on purpose. It’s just tricky to keep in mind all of the elements that all of your diverse readers are going to need when you’ve been working on a study for a very long time you can forget what are the important details that other folks need to read understand and use your work those decisions maybe happened a while ago.
All those decisions seemed so obvious at the time you might not add them in and that’s where reporting guidelines can help so i’d love to know from you had you heard about reporting guidelines before you signed up for this webinar. Is anyone anyone new to reporting guidelines right here. Oh there’s a no fantastic. Uh yes vaguely great got a yes fantastic. Yes so we’ve got a few yeses. Um used them often great. Yes heard about them but never used fantastic a bit yes uh difficult to implement them completely. Fantastic we’ll dig into that. We’ve got a yes. Um got one listed arrive love reporting guidelines. Love it to hear that we’ve got to know we’ve got a yes so we’ve got a little bit of a mix which is fantastic. Um oh but it helps with analysis as well as reporting. Yeah um haven’t heard of cool so we’ve got a nice mix which is great so what are reporting guidelines they are a list of the minimum items. You need for someone to fully understand your study. There are reporting guidelines for lots of study designs and most of the really big internationally accepted ones were developed by sort of big groups of experts based on evidence and often through a consensus process. They tend to be given as a checklist. Or as structured text. That lists the information. You need to pop in and you can see on the screen. The first page of consort. Which is the reporting guideline for clinical trials. And you can see. It’s just a list of information that’s needed. It’s got title and abstract introduction and then a bunch of things for methods so it goes way beyond just the usual inrad structure of intro methods results and discussion that the journals tell you to use so here’s item four it’s on participants and it asks for two pieces of information eligibility criteria and settings and location where the data were collected. And that’s just one of many items under methods so it’s going into more granular detail of things that folks will need when they are using your paper.
The checklist or the structured text is often accompanied sometimes in the same paper sometimes in a different one with explanations of why these items are important and examples of good reporting so on the screen. You can see the information for item. One of strobe which is for cohort cross-sectional and case control designs. It says that the study’s design should be indicated with a commonly used term in the title or the abstract and then it gives an example leukemia in incidents among workers in the shoe and boot manufacturing industry a case control study. And then it tells you why this is a good idea. Readers should be able to easily identify the design that was used from the title abstract because that will help ensure correct indexing of articles in electronic databases and it will help with search. So they tell you why it’s a good idea. Um these e and e or explanation and elaboration documents are a really valuable resource when you’re working on a study design that you’re less familiar with so it’s always worth having a look at those. So how do you actually use these reporting guidelines so folks were saying how to actually implement them great for those of you who have used reporting guidelines. How do you use them in your research biomed research international, pharmacological research and your writing. What stages have you used them at. So we’ve got uh when getting ready to write a manuscript planning and reporting outlining writing the methods study design and manuscript drafting experimental design lab book writing the manuscript. Uh during the writing stage. I feel a little late in the process. Yeah okay first draft and reviewing before i get started i see what items i’ll have to include in my final manuscript lovely and with writing the protocol. So we’ve got a real range here folks looking at the reporting guideline all the way at the beginning when they’re sorting out their study design and figuring out what they’re going to do then using it for outlining using it for first drafts and using it in reviewing fantastic.
I think this is all of the things. I’m going to mention so it’s really lovely to hear what people are doing. So let’s dig into each of those for those. Who aren’t doing this yet. So first place planning your research biomed research international, pharmacological research study now. You might be thinking but this is a reporting guideline. Why would i need to look at it when i’m planning my study. It’s good to know what kind of things you’re going to be asked to report. Once you’ve finished the reporting guideline will not tell you the correct decisions to make but it will tell you the kinds of decisions that the readers will be interested in so. It’s helpful that you don’t get a surprise when you come to write up and often you’ll look at the reporting guideline and say this isn’t applicable to my study. It’s okay but you’ve at least thought about it right at the beginning and gone. Yes for my study design not applicable for these very good reasons. You’ve got that all sorted through thought through right at the beginning the next useful spot as a bunch of people have mentioned is outlining so the process of outlining so outlining can be a really helpful step in planning any kind of paper because it breaks up the blank page and it reminds you which information you need to gather before you begin to properly write and this outlining step is useful. No matter what kind of paper you are writing. Maybe you’re writing up the protocol of the study that you’ve just designed maybe you’re writing up a registered report. Maybe you’re writing up a stage one registered report with just the introduction and the methods. Or maybe you’re writing up a stage. Two registered report with the results and the discussion could be useful to outline could be useful to use the reporting guideline here. You might be writing up a research biomed research international, pharmacological research paper um with results paper but you might be doing it in such a way that your work lends yourself to planning the research biomed research international, pharmacological research paper and then populating it with the results as you work or maybe you work in a way where you plan the research biomed research international, pharmacological research you do it and then you write the paper once you have the results in hand any of these ways of working in any of these types of papers outlining and therefore reporting guidelines can help and to do this one of the easy ways to go about it is to start with your journal’s suggested main headings it’s one of the reasons it’s a good idea to choose a target journal before starting to write and then use the reporting guideline to add in your subheadings or your paragraph headings particularly in the methods and the results and you’ll see when you look at reporting guidelines they don’t say much about the intro and the discussion because those are very discursive things they’re going to be very creative writing ebits whereas the methods and results there’s lots to say in the reporting guideline about those elements.
Once you’ve gone a wave would use that outline to write a rough draft and you and your co-authors are editing and revising that right draft the rough draft it’s useful to check the paper against the reporting guideline again. You don’t need to keep all of those subheadings or even keep the information in the same order. You don’t need to keep every subheading that you wrote in from the reporting guideline. You just need to make sure that the information mentioned actually makes it into the paper so the reporting guideline it’s just a guide. It is not prescriptive of how you report the information or the order that it appears in. There’s usually a good reason for why information appears under methods as a chunk or results as a chunk but within those. There’s a lot of flexibility so don’t worry about that. It is very helpful though to use the reporting guideline as that framework right at the beginning. Because it just helps you make sure you get all of that information in and the last place where a reporting guideline is helpful in writing is when the journal asks you to prepare a completed checklist for alongside your submission so in that case you just grab that reporting guideline again and you just literally run through it and write down the page number or the section number the section name where.
You’ve addressed each item so i’d love to hear from all of you and so i’m going to ask will if you can release the poll where will reporting guidelines most help you and you can choose as many of these as you like so this is either what you’ve done already or what. You’re now thinking. Oh i should do that so i’m gonna give you all a moment that should pop up if the poll doesn’t pop up for you you can just type one two three four in the chat. Okay fantastic. We’ve got 19 people so far 30 people so far fabulous. We’ll give you all a moment. So where do you think reporting guidelines will help you with your writing. We’ll give the last folks a couple of extra minutes. It looks like um there’s at least 30 people going for every single option which is great. Okay let’s end the pulse. You can all see the results. It looks like everybody is sharing those results. So you should all hopefully be able to see those results where it’s looking like um all of those options are going to be useful to someone and the one that’s winning at the moment just just just as preparing journal submissions and straight after that outline papers then revising paper drafts and then planning research biomed research international, pharmacological research. So thank you all for sharing okay. There’s another place that reporting guidelines can be very helpful and that’s in peer review so the reporting guidelines can’t help you judge whether a study made a sensible decision but they can help you figure out if you’ve been given enough information to make a judgment so step one is to check whether their manuscript actually cites a reporting guideline and read through that abstract and see do you agree with their choice of guideline and if not or if they haven’t actually used one.
Choose an appropriate reporting guideline. We’ll cover how to do that in a bit. And then just compare that manuscript to the guideline to see whether every item has either been reported or is clearly not applicable to this particular study design. So it’s a useful way just to check. Do you have enough information to proceed with peer review really. And if you’re missing most of the information you might say well. Is it worth going any further. So let’s put this into practice. Let’s have a play so i’ve grabbed a random abstract from bmc public health. Um and i’ve identified strobe as a good match for this paper. So it’s the association between dog walking physical activity and owner’s perception of safety a cross-sectional evidence from the u.s and australia. So let’s have a play with this. So strobe has a short version just for abstracts and it asks for the study design to be described and for a clear objective to be stated. So let’s have a look at this abstract. Did they tell us the study design. And did they tell us their objective so the background. I’ve already read you the title. The background says we examine the relationship between dog walking and physical activity within and between four u.s city cities and australia and investigated if dog walking is associated with higher perceived safety in u.s and australian cities. So do you feel like they’ve done the two things strobe asked for. Have they told you the study design and are you clear what the objective of the study is and if not what more would you like. Um so we’ve got somebody saying not enough. What more would you like um self-rep oh so is it. Self-reported physical activity or is it objectively measured physical activity okay. We need more for the study design. Yeah they haven’t clearly stated the study design we do have it in the title we’ve got cross-sectional or we do we think that’s enough. Would we like a little bit more. Maybe we’d like a little bit more so we’ve got that the objective explained well.
Yeah i agree with that. They kind of told us what we’re going to be reading about. So we’ve got someone saying thinking it’s clear yeah thinking it’s complete if we looked at what strobe was asking for. Strobe doesn’t ask for very much for the background i think sometimes we think background’s really important and actually strobes just tell us the objective. Make sure the study design’s clear. We’ve got a bit of information there probably all right. Let’s have a look at the methods and this time. I’m not going to show you strobe to start with. I’m just going to show you. The methods have a think and then. We’ll use strobe to see where the strobe helps. So here’s the methods dog. Owners n equals 1113 in the pet connection study completed a cross-sectional survey data were collected across four study sites three in the u.s san diego nashville and portland and a fourth in australia. Perth physical activity local walking dog walking and individual and community perceptions of safety were analyzed for dog walkers and non-dog walkers for each study site between city comparisons were examined for dog walkers. What do we think about this methods. I’m not giving you strobe yet. Just your if you appear reviewing this as an abstract how would you what would you be asking. What would you be asking for happy with us not happy with it. So you’ve got someone saying how many non-dog walkers i’ve got somebody saying two groups. I’m not sure you’re maybe not going to clarify a little bit. Are you saying are you asking. Are there two groups. Um we’ve got someone asking number in each study site. Uh how long did they collect the data for. Yeah good questions. Um what is the pet connection study. They are receiving a little bit of knowledge here. Yes inclusion exclusion criteria. Yeah so folks are identifying a few things you’d like um at what points did they complete the survey um it is on dog walking but then they say physical activity so it’s an assumption that the physical activity is walking but that’s not clear.
Yeah who analyzed it. Uh excuse me um which. Comparison statistics or methods. Got somebody asking. Would statistics go in this section. So this is the entire methods this is the entire methods. So let’s have a look at. What strobe actually says. Oh demographics of the dog owners. Yeah so strobe says for your methods you want. A description of the setting follow-up dates or dates at which the outcome events occurred or at which the outcomes were present as well as any points or ranges on any other time scales for the outcomes. That’s the setting. It wants to know about the participants. So for cross-sectional the eligibility criteria and the major sources and methods of selections for the participants and then variables clearly define the primary outcome. And then give the statistical methods including those used to control for confounding. So for those of you who work maybe struggling a little bit or those of you. Who are thinking of lots of things. Is there anything here that you hadn’t thought of that. Maybe you now think is missing if we go back to our methods is there anything from those strobe items. So you have follow-up methods and duration confounders not mentioned eligibility criteria for participants except for having a dog yep primary outcome so we’re getting a little bit more things that we maybe weren’t happy with from before dates may be missing so i think there’s a little bit of detail here that we would have liked to see and hopefully strobe has helped a little bit with identifying some of those things but you’ve identified a lot of those even without stroke which is fantastic. Um so primary outcome may name of the analysis and confounding. Yeah so let’s look at the results now so stroke for abstracts asks for participants and now it’s interesting a lot of you are saying oh numbers so methods and results. Methods tends to be the things that we knew before the study was done and results is things that we know after the study was done.
So things like how many people i managed to recruit is very often a result rather than a method. Because we don’t know how many we’re going to manage to recruit before we do the study but it can depend on your type of study so with results. We’ve got participants. The number of participants at the beginning and end of the study were asked about. So how many did they recruit versus. How many did they get actual data from the main results estimates of associations and if relevant consider translating estimates of relative risk into absolute risk for a meaningful time period report appropriate measures of variability and uncertainty eg odds ratios with confidence intervals. So that’s what we want for our main results and we’ll look at conclusions in a minute and so those are the things that we’re asked for in results so let’s have a look. I’ve split the results into two because it’s two paragraphs it’s a bit much for slides so the first section is talking about how often these people walked so across all study sites. Dog walkers walked with their dog five to six times per week for a total of 93 to 109 minutes per week and achieved more than or equal to 30 minutes of physical activity on more days per week and walked in their neighborhood. More often per week compared with non-dog walkers or p-values less than 0.01 compared with perth significantly fewer dog walkers walked in their local park at the three u.s study sites and san diego dog walkers walked more often in their neighborhoods per week compared with perth dog walkers and again all p-values less than or equal to 0.05. What do we think about this thinking about strobe. What strobe asked us for earlier and what we generally know so participant numbers are missing. Yep they gave us in the methods the number of people that filled in that survey but yes we don’t know the number of people that were analyzed and we don’t know how many in each city distance walked is not reported.
Yeah maybe we’d be interested in that few estimates and confidence intervals and too many p-values. Yeah would we maybe have liked the numbers for those things. More than just a more than less than p-value. How long was the study. So that would have been in methods definitely that. How long was the study with a methods question. Definitely so just thinking in terms of those sort of results that the things that strobe was asking us about. They haven’t really told us things like how many people they sent the survey to the response rate and that wasn’t in the methods either it would have been good to know how many people in each city um and we’ve just got the p values maybe we would have preferred to see the actual numbers um rather and then and then be able to compare those numbers ourselves which sort of fits what struggle with what strobe was asking for um so in terms of how did they design or validate the study. That would not be a an abstract level thing. That’s quite a lot of detail for an abstract. Um although if you could fit it in quite nice so here’s part two of those results so in portland. Dog walkers perceived significantly more neighborhood problems and in nashville dog walkers perceive a significantly higher level of neighborhood natural surveillance i.e eyes on the street compared with non-dog dog walkers both p-value less than 0.05 among dog walkers females were more likely than males to feel safer walking with their dog in their neighborhood and they gave us odds ratios and confidence intervals compared with dog walkers in perth dog walkers from each of the u.s city sites study sites felt safer in their neighborhood and perceived. There was more neighborhood surveillance all p-values less than 0.001. This changing anything about what we were thinking they added anything else. We’ve again got the p values we do have one set of odds ratios and confidence intervals.
Um variables adjusted for the models to be honest. We don’t know anything about the models and if they even did any modeling because we didn’t know about the methods the stats analysis was missing in the methods. And that’s a really important bit so that linkedin to strobe saying tell us about your statistical analysis so good spot so hopefully strobe was a little bit helpful and that’s identifying that maybe it would have been nice to see a bit more actual data as opposed to more or less than and then if we look at what strobe says about conclusions so conclusion just said that we wanted a general interpretation of the results and they’ve given us this paragraph and we’ll look at it just for interesting so this multi-site international study provides further support for the potential for dog walking to increase levels of physical activity. Walking with a dog may be a mechanism for increasing perceptions of neighborhood safety and getting to know the neighborhood however significant between country differences exist further. International research biomed research international, pharmacological research is required to understand the drivers for these between country differences. Community-based programs and policies aimed at improving safety and social connectedness should consider the wider community benefits of dog walking and include strategies for supporting more dog. Walking is this a general interpretation of the results as per strobe. That’s all strobe asks for in a conclusion so i’ve got somebody saying maybe it’s too elaborated. Hmm interesting point not really because it’s making recommendations for future research biomed research international, pharmacological research so it’s going beyond just a general interpretation and it’s sometimes nice to see your recommendations for further research biomed research international, pharmacological research in a conclusion section particularly when it’s making clear how generalizable those results are what they can be used for so the people don’t take them in the wrong way. But what do we think about the balance of words here thinking about that reporting guideline so some recommendations may go beyond the study results.
Yeah very possible. Um too lengthy. It seems it’s half as long as the results. Yeah so i think this is sometimes where the reporting guideline can be quite helpful as well uh because sometimes as peer reviewers we go. Oh there’s a there’s a word limit there’s a word count and i’m asking them to add so much extra detail in and the reporting guideline can sort of give us that sense of stability of. Ah but there’s only one line on conclusions in the strobe for abstracts. There’s a lot more information in methods and results. It is fair for me to ask them to move some of those words away from conclusions and into methods and results to fill in what the information that people really do need. And there’s some over claims going in in my opinion eg direction of effect is assumed. Okay yes so dog. Walking increases perceptions of safety but higher perceptions of safety could equally increase dog walking. Yep so the way they’ve interpreted. Maybe you’re not comfortable with and that’s okay so yeah. Hopefully that has been an interesting exercise. How did you feel about using strobe frags abstracts as your way of approaching that abstract because that would have probably been in a field of study that is not people’s specialty. It is a bit of a one that i picked because it is um not too technical but also likely not to match everybody’s specialty. What did we think was it helpful. Was it not helpful. If it wasn’t helpful why if it was helpful why so we’ve got a helpful fantastic helpful because without a guide you tend to forget about some important things yeah helpful. It’s useful to think about the detail required for the majority of readers to get meaningful information from the abstract. Yeah very helpful. As a way of spotting what’s missing and also what may not be needed um helpful to guide the reading when participating in peer review apart from following reporting guidelines. Should we also comment on more technical field specific stuff definitely definitely um the reporting guideline can just be a really helpful starting point but it’s definitely not going to be enough for your peer review.
Very helpful provide items to be reported very clearly and also for the reader. Yeah it’s helpful to standardize. Yep so yes the reporting guideline in the same way as your reporting guideline is not enough for planning your study. But it’s a useful aid the reporting guideline is not enough for your peer review. You will know about that field. You will have technical knowledge when you do peer review but it is a helpful thing to start with and sometimes folks particularly the first few times you do peer review. It can be really helpful to be able to say. It’s not just me saying to you author that you need these things there is. There is some guidance that agrees with me and it can be quite helpful to be able to say if you look at this. It’s not just me making it up. Somebody else has said this first. Yeah um now we’ve got a question. It’s helpful but i feel there are many different use cases that may arise is there a repository of all guidelines available. I’m going to answer that question in just a minute. I’ve got other options apart from strobe going to answer that question in just a minute and i can see patricia. My colleague has popped a link in to the equator network. Fantastic so your questions are leading me straight. Into how the heck do you pick an appropriate reporting guideline for your study. Whether it’s your own or somebody else’s so how do we do this step one to choose an appropriate reporting guideline. You need to know what kind of research biomed research international, pharmacological research you’ve done all the kind of research biomed research international, pharmacological research you’re planning to do. You don’t have to get super super technical but there’s a few things we can think about. So there’s some people who will know i am doing a clinical trial. I am writing up a case report of a single thing i’ve done. I am building a prediction model and for those people. If you have a like a couple of word description of your study design that’s great.
That’s all you need. If you’re kind of struggling to categorize your research biomed research international, pharmacological research you can think through a few questions so thing one. What or who are you working with. Are you working with people. Are you working with animals. Are you working with bacteria viruses. What is your thing. What is your peoples. Then what is the raw material of your study. Are you working with raw data. That’s collected either by yourself or someone else and then you’re doing primary research biomed research international, pharmacological research or are you doing secondary research biomed research international, pharmacological research so you’re using published journal articles as your material so you’re synthesizing the results secondary research biomed research international, pharmacological research. So am i doing primary or secondary. Then what is your research biomed research international, pharmacological research team’s role in relation to the data. So if your team doesn’t interfere at all and they instead are watching to see what happens in an existing situation then you’re doing observational work. So in a clinical professional setting that could be a clinical professional is controlling something and say which treatment a patient receives but their decisions are not driven by your research biomed research international, pharmacological research project. Any at all. You’re watching what happens if your team controls anything. Then you’re doing experimental work. So if you’re giving an exposure or choosing who gets a treatment or anything like that then based on whatever rules that you’ve set then you’re doing experimental work if you are hands on changing something so if your hands touch anything then it’s experimental work if you’re doing experimental work. It’s helpful to know how the research biomed research international, pharmacological research team has decided who gets what so say if you’re doing sort of more clinical work which participant gets a particular treatment. How are you deciding that you might be doing it. In a non-random method so every patient in your clinic gets one treatment every patient in your collaborators clinic gets another one or you might be using a random method like rolling a dice or using a randomization service and then what data are you collecting.
Are you collecting numbers. So quantitative data or are you working with qualitative data so anything else like opinions or feelings so these are just some ways to describe your research biomed research international, pharmacological research your field you might need to go into a different level of detail but this is a good start point for choosing that reporting guideline so once you’ve broadly categorized your research biomed research international, pharmacological research we can go and look at our target journal so it’s a really good idea to choose the target journal before starting to write and this is one of the reasons why your target journals instructions for authors often say something about particular study designs so they might say if you are doing a clinical trial use the consult reporting guideline and. It’s a good idea to check these requirements even if you’ve published with a journal before as they’re often updated as new reporting guidelines are released so based on what you know so far between your target journal and what you know about your study you can now choose a general reporting guideline for your piece of work so it might just be the one that the journal has suggested if the journal hasn’t suggested anything or you think actually the journal is suggesting things that don’t match my study design. Your next port of call could be the equator network so we list all the general reporting guidelines for the major study designs on our home page. And we’ve also then got a database a library of all of the reporting guidelines for human research biomed research international, pharmacological research that you can search through so for instance if you’re doing a randomized primary experimental research biomed research international, pharmacological research with people. You’re probably doing a trial and you’re going to use consort that’s the reporting guideline if you’re doing observational. Primary research biomed research international, pharmacological research then strobe is helpful for case controls cohorts and cross-sectional studies. If you’re doing secondary research biomed research international, pharmacological research of these primary studies you can use prisma. If you’re doing experimental if you’re collecting qualitative data instead of quantitative data with these three options you could use srqr srqr alongside or instead of consort and strobe for primary research biomed research international, pharmacological research and you can use entrec for secondary research biomed research international, pharmacological research so this is just some of the options and if you’re doing research biomed research international, pharmacological research with animals the big reporting guideline is arrive.
Arrive is designed for reporting in vivo experiments. So it’s focused on pre-clinical research biomed research international, pharmacological research using an experimental process some of its items therefore won’t be appropriate for all study designs. But it’s usually a good idea to check arrive. If you’re doing any kind of animal research biomed research international, pharmacological research to see if it will help maybe alongside the reported guideline you’re using so for instance. Let’s go back to strobe if i look at main. Strobe strobe item 14 asks for participant characteristics such as demographic clinical and social characteristics and information on exposures and potential confounders. This is sensible in both human and animal research biomed research international, pharmacological research but arrives item. Eight goes a little bit deeper and it asks for species. Appropriate details of the animals used and then item eight b goes even more into even more detail it looks for information. That’s crucial for readers to judge. How generalizable your work is so depending on what you’re doing it can be helpful to use these different guidelines and if you’re doing observational research biomed research international, pharmacological research some of arrives items just might not be appropriate at all. So for instance item 4a of arrive asks you to state whether randomization was used to allocate your experimental units if you’ve already stated you’re using a retrospective study design using routinely collected data for information. Well then you don’t need to do that so it’s going to be a case of needing to use a little bit of common sense when using these different reporting guidelines together so all of the big study designs are in a table on our home page as an easy way to find them and they’re great these big general reporting guidelines but sometimes there’s an extension or a more specific guideline that can be more helpful so there are extensions which extend a general reporting guideline for a particular study design or clinical area and then there’s more specific guidelines that weren’t developed in conjunction with those general reporting guidelines but they function similarly and these all cover the entire paper but they’re more specific than just all clinical trials so for instance.
There’s a consort extension for pilot trials for trials that use artificial intelligence and for trials in specific areas like orthodontics. There are strobe extensions for if you’re using routinely collected data or if you’re working in infectious diseases there are prisma extensions for if you’re working if you’re looking at your search or if you’re doing a scoping review for instance so particular types of design so sub designs and also in particular areas and as i say it’s not just the extensions of these big reporting guidelines there’s also community specific so field specific uh designs and reporting guidelines that have been set up and all of these are in our database. So here’s an example of why that might be useful item 14 from strobe again so we want the characteristics of the study participants and information on exposures and potential confounders. If i was working in infectious diseases. Do you think this is enough. If i’m talking about study participants what might i also want to say about study participants beyond just infectious beyond just what’s here for an infectious disease. So comorbidities yep uh vaccination status. Yeah and who’s the other what. Well what’s the other component in an infectious disease study. I’m working with people but i’m also working with the disease itself the pathogen. Yes the bug. So strobe. Doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t know about the bug so strobe. Id actually takes us that little bit. Further it asks for information by strain type if appropriate and then uses a standardized nomenclature and it goes into a little bit more detail there and these are things where you might be saying.
Well of course i would know that if i’m working in infectious diseases. Of course i’d know to report my bug of course and it’s just one of these things of it’s helpful to have everything. This one might be obvious. That’s why it’s a good one for us to chat about because we’re not all infectious disease experts. But when we get into the nitty-gritty it can be really helpful to have all of these things in one place for us to look at and you can search for these extensions in our database by using the study design search or by clicking on the extensions button for your general study design so the equator website has lots of reporting guidelines and the searches clinical areas. Focus on human medicine. If you’re working in animal research biomed research international, pharmacological research the meridian database is very helpful. It’s just got animal research biomed research international, pharmacological research reporting guidelines if that applies to you um the list of guidelines is a lot shorter. It’s a lot easier to navigate. But they don’t have all of the general reporting guidelines so it’s usually a good idea to use alongside equator. Um so yeah for in vitro research biomed research international, pharmacological research arrive is a really good one to start with for animal future research biomed research international, pharmacological research for those of you. In psychology the jazz reporting guidelines set from apa has a series of reporting guidelines for all kinds of research biomed research international, pharmacological research designs collecting qualitative quantitative and mixed data for those in psychology. This might be a really good place to look as well when you’re using an extension. They generally repeat the information from the main guideline in their checklist. So that you don’t have to use the main guideline and the extension you could just use the extension but sometimes you end up needing more than one reporting. Guideline there are some useful extra reporting guidelines that focus on specific elements so those general extensions are for the whole article and these are for specific elements like the abstract so strobe for abstracts.
Fits in here and again you can find them. In our database using the section of report search or the free text search and just some useful ones that you might like are tidier for interventions. If you’re working on an intervention they can be helpful sample for statistics cherries for online surveys and then console for abstract strobe for abstracts and there’s a bunch more specifically for abstracts very helpful if you’re writing a conference abstract for instance but again general reporting guidelines are enough for those of you who are doing more laboratory based based research biomed research international, pharmacological research and i’m seeing a couple of questions about that. Um our database isn’t as useful for this and to be honest it can be quite tricky to find all of those but you will find that a lot of the journals have now got more general checklists to cover some of the more laboratory cell-based research biomed research international, pharmacological research so to do sort of our questions and things. We’ve come to the end of the bit where i talk and we chat together and we’re going to move into our panel chat portion of the session so this is a chance to discuss any element of reporting guidelines and their development that you’re curious about so i’m going to invite my colleagues to join us on camera and that is gary collins who is a medical statistician. The director of the uk equator centre and one of the founders of the tripod reporting guideline for prediction model development and evaluation. And he’s also been involved in developing numerous other reporting guidelines. Shona curtley is an information specialist as equator’s knowledge and information manager. She manages our library of reporting guidelines and registry of guidelines under development and she’s also a developer of prisma search patricia. Lagulo is a meta research biomed research international, pharmacological researcher at the uk equator centre and a member of several reporting guideline development groups and in her previous role as a medical writer. She advised clients on using reporting guidelines.
And michael schlissel is a medical statistician. Who is leading a project to audit all of the reporting guidelines in the equated database and is leading the development of a suite of reporting guideline extensions and applications for nutrition research biomed research international, pharmacological research. So i’m going to close my chat slides so that we can have a chat with everyone so this is your chance to ask me any questions and effectively. I’m going to facilitate a bit of a panel chat. So this is your chance to pop any questions about reporting guidelines their development their use. Anything like that into the chat. I think while we’re waiting for people to write in some questions. I’m going to sort of kick things off with a general question to the group. Which is this is a ukrn reproducibility network webinar. How does reporting fit into reproducibility. If i’m putting my code and my protocol on open science framework do i still need a reporting guideline surely. I’m sorted for reporting reproducibility. I’ll jump in there jen. Obviously um so did this. This is a common thing and i see it on twitter and some people say well. Yeah i’ve made my code available. I’ve got my mark down. Whatever that’s all i need when i think you know research biomed research international, pharmacological research articles number one have different consumers. It’s not just the clinician. It’s not just the statistician involved. It’s not just the methodologies. It’s not just that the lab scientists it’s patients as well and we all take different bits from my research biomed research international, pharmacological research article so a clinician or a general joke. Clinician is not going to understand your r code. Understand what you’ve done so that’s one thing there’s also all the stuff leading up to getting ahold of your data so your code is all about reproducing your analyses. So you’ve got the data set you click a few buttons. And you’re reproducing your p values your effect estimates blah blah blah but. Actually there’s a whole process leading not to get in that data set and and as you do any study like a clinical trial.
There are decisions along the way and one has to document those decisions. Um so readers can actually understand the process. How you’ve got to get your got to your data set for example. Um so yeah in my view. You can’t have reproducibility without reporting and there is also the motivation for the study. There is not anything about that in your code why you started. What led you to start the study in the first place. Why is it needed. I think and also from an information specialist point of view um the report in the literature research biomed research international, pharmacological research very fully and clearly is crucial to being able to reproduce uh the literature search and the results for systematic reviews so the reporting is absolutely crucial in that respect for reproducibility fantastic. Thanks everyone um so. We have a question. I have struggled to apply some of the reported guide voting guidelines so for example. A case series has no clear reporting guideline. There’s just an article from an ophthalmologist. I ended up using the care criteria. So care is the reporting guideline for case reports. I ended up using the care. Criteria for a small case series but a lot of the information was not applicable will journals take a negative view of this and i think more generally maybe you want to speak to um the existence of a reporting guideline 4k series. If you wanted to. In general too. The case series is pretty much a cohort study. That was not most times really well planned in advance. So strobe would probably be a good go-to resource to to answer that but the question is really about the journals and that depends uh because many journals to simply not care about uh the reporting guidelines so. I think it’s more about what you are actually aiming to to achieve with your with your report uh to please the journal to to inform the readers and i would say it doesn’t matter unless and as far as i know this is not the case for any journal unless the journal will strictly uh ask you not to follow a reporting guideline.
There is no reason for you not to to try and make use of them. I think. Let’s let’s flip that one to the other side. Which is what happens when a journal says you must use a reporting guideline and they want you to hand in a checklist. But there isn’t one for your study design and that’s that’s a common thing so folks who’ve looked for a reporting guideline and said there isn’t one for what i’m doing that can happen. What are you supposed to do then. Maybe yeah absolutely um yeah. That’s a question. We very often receive actually as an enquiry. Um and the best thing you can do really there is be um open with the journal and say that there isn’t actually a specific reporting guideline that actually matches your study. Um and then try to have a discussion with them around whether a close closely sort of matching guideline might be the best way to to go forward and and fill out a guideline that that closely matches your study and submit that with your um submission um and include alongside that an explanation for the journal and have a discussion with them about it and hopefully you know they will understand. Then that there isn’t a guideline that matches your study. And you’ve done your best to report and clearly and and include a guideline with your submission. Thank you patricia. You were going to say something as well. I was going to say the same thing. Just upload the the what you can use like two three reporting guidelines and use the non-applicable uh choice so you can say this is not applicable to my study design and if the editor wants to discuss with you have a talk why not. I think that’s a really good point. This idea of not applicable um that the reporting guidelines are not supposed to be. We can attend straight jacket of of guidance. It is not supposed to be that if something doesn’t apply to your study say so leave it out. I will say sometimes people say not applicable when actually. It’s something that deserves a line in their article explaining why that’s not something that was applicable.
Because it’s a standard part of the study design. They’re using so if it is a study design that matches your study really well but it was not applicable in your circumstances. That’s maybe something to discuss. And things like blinding comes to mind. Like blinding. Wasn’t applicable in our instance because it’s impossible to blind because of the kind of thing we’re doing actually state that in the article because it’s such an important part of your study design but when you are in the situation where there isn’t a great match between your study design and any reporting guideline there the not applicable is much more. You can put it just in the reporting guideline. It doesn’t matter so much so those are two ways to think about that. So thank you for that question. Um we have another question. I am teaching how to do. Healthcare research biomed research international, pharmacological research to very junior health students. Do you have any ideas to enhance the use of reporting guidelines from the very early protocol design. I have the idea that as early as possible is much better. Who’d like to take that one. Can i go for it. So as jen said reporting guidelines are reporting guidelines they were not supposed to be used to plan but when you use them and you start using using them as early as possible you have two results first you prevent things later you prevent to forget to prevent yourself to forgetting things later and second you uh grow a culture in your group about using reporting guidelines so the more these junior research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers get used to the language the structure of reporting guidelines and how to use them the better because they were going they are going to plan better write better publish better and more complete reports so kudos to you to start using that as early as possible. Yeah and i think something to mention is um using not just reporting guidelines at planning stage. There is fantastic methodology guidance. Out there and what’s really nice is the reporting guidelines is sometimes the reporting guideline makes you think about something that you didn’t know in that study design and you go.
Oh they’re asking me about x i need to know more about that. And that leads you to the methodology guidance which is a really nice thing but yeah there’s great methodology guidance out there you really want to be encouraging your juniors to be using that and when they plan their research biomed research international, pharmacological research as well michael. You had a comment. Yeah i was going to mention uh you already mentioned during the presentation but i think that one good way of trying to motivate early career. Research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers to use reporting guidelines is introducing the explanation and liberation papers because they bring the examples of good reporting for all of the aspects of a specific study design or a specific medical specialty and these junior research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers is early career research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers uh they might get they might just find themselves a bit lost on how to start describing things or or even how to do things and these examples are very useful in in both ways. Patricia said it’s not meant to to help you plan research biomed research international, pharmacological research but when you know what you’re going to have to report in the end you are more likely to think about it upfront. That’s a very good point. Michael and i think that enes the explanation and elaboration papers are even more important than the checklists. Because uh when you read an early all the checklists items are there so you don’t need the checklist anymore. It’s there and second. Uh you have the explanation. The why part of it. Why is that important. And that’s very important for you to teach your young research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers as early as possible so not only report these but why is it important to to report this item. Yeah definitely i will say some of the ene. Documents are really long so when you are giving it to a junior research biomed research international, pharmacological researcher maybe make clear to them that. They’re not expected to read it from cupboard to cover i think strobes nearly 100 pages. Um so.
Yeah they’re not expected to read it cover to cover. It’s a thing to dip in and out of for good examples when they need it but it is an incredibly useful document any other comments on that. Um the other thing that i wanted to mention is that there are reporting guidelines for writing protocols and so that’s another really helpful they’re reporting guidelines but because they’re for writing protocols they sometimes they sort of bridge the gap between reporting guidance and methodology guidance. A little bit but yeah there’s a lot of the big study designs have now got a reporting guideline for the protocol as well as for the results paper. So that’s another really helpful one for your junior research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers so thank you for that question. Um next question is so for my research biomed research international, pharmacological research. Which is prediction modeling. There are reporting guidelines which include some advice on analysis methods but also separate groups of academics are developing methods guides. I have a general interest question about the interplay between these two things especially if the methods recommendations end up differing slightly in these publications i wondered how much you think. Reporting guidelines should delve into statistical methods recommendations or whether they should be separate publications which should be updated based on the other if they differ. Gary i wonder if you want to take this one to start but yeah so i’m not sure exactly what report guideline you’re referring to. So i i assume one is the tripod reporting guidelines. So which i know quite well because i’ll leave the author on so um in our explanation and elaboration document which covered is the the tripod statement. We um let’s say the focus is on reporting. That’s the reported. Guideline is primarily focused on reporting but when we developed that particular reporting guideline um we’ve done lots of systematic reviews. We’ve seen lots of papers that there are also lots of bad statistical practices in the primary studies so we took the opportunity within the tripod.
An explanation an aberration document to highlight um some methodological issues and provide some references um to help authors because people use the e document as a planning document as well um so it’s to highlight some issues of not what to do and what to do because there are implications of reporting as well so there’s an issue around in prediction models called calibration for example which is looking at the ecosystem predictions. We knew that this was really very rarely done. So we’re trying to tell us. Actually you should do this and also and report this. There’s an implication of actually doing something. I conduct this year. Then reporting it. Um and the second point is is when there’s conflict between methods guidance and reporting recommendations usually reporting recommendations um won’t i would always refer to the report reporting guideline first. I think as being correct because particularly the world of prediction modeling is it’s like it’s the wild west out there so there are lots of methods guidance in that in this field that aren’t correct um reporting guidelines do get updated so if methodology has changed um reported guidelines will periodically so the console statement has been updated once. I think. Maybe it’s twice christmas. Been updated once or twice starts been updated once twice. Tripod is currently undergoing an update and then an adaptation for machine learning and any new methodological guidance that has been derived over the last seven years will be reflected in the new reporting guideline. Um i’m not sure i’ve answered the question there but i’ve rambled on for five minutes. That’s okay we’ve got a reply. Which is that tripod has been very helpful. Thank you i was just interested that there’s more detail in tripod on stats methods than in other guidelines. Yeah i think that that is just because the um doing the prediction mode study. There’s lots of different sorts of stats methods involved in doing that type of study if you do the clinical trial.
The statistical methods are pretty brief and standard. There’s nothing controversial in there but actually when you do a prediction model. You’ve got the missing data. You’ve got the handle continuous covariates. You’ve got to do some validation blah blah blah there’s lots of different stats that come into play when you develop a model. So there’s lots of issues around guidance on how best to do that and how best to report that. I’m glad you found it useful. So thank you for that question there. There is a sort of an issue in reporting guideline development. Which is how much should the reporting guideline be methods neutral. This idea that we don’t want the reporting guideline to make it impossible for somebody to report their study if they haven’t done. Gold standard methodology because the purpose of the reporting guideline is from a reproducibility perspective transparency perspective. To get everything out there. So even if you haven’t done the best possible thing and putting that in giant bunny rabbit ears because sometimes there isn’t the best possible thing right. We do the best we can. In the circumstances we still want to hear about it so that people can judge the work and understand how how generalizable that work is how much they can trust that work. They need to know everything so that is a tension for reporting guideline developers because there is this this temptation to to give people as much guidance as possible but also to have the reporting guidelines set up in such a way that everybody feels. They can report their work. Um i don’t have anyone else patricia. Yeah yeah this is why i think the um newest reporting guidelines are more and more adopting language like justify if you didn’t do something justify that’s okay but just say why not why not you did. Uh why you did it blind why. You didn’t calibrate why you didn’t um increase your sample. Whatever if you just justify it’s reported and the person reading reading your your paper can understand what you did and why yeah.
Thank you anybody else. Want to comment on that before we move on. I don’t know if i’m i’m i’m driving way too much away from the question but uh one one last piece of advice on identifying which uh would be the best method the one the reporting guideline or the one in the the general methodological uh guidance is to ask assassination so that that is advice coming straight to you from a medical statistician. Ask a statistician. Thanks michael um so. We’ve got next question. Uh how and i think this isn’t. This is an interesting one for um for all of us which is how are reporting guidelines approved by the equator group. I’ve noticed an increasing number of new reporting guidelines usually just slightly modified versions of existing ones and discipline specific elaboration and explanation. Papers that to me at least don’t seem necessary and more look more like a method to drive up citations and impact factor. So that’s a really interesting question. Who’d like to start off on that one. Yeah i’m repeating to your start um specifically with the discipline specific. There’s definitely been an increase absolutely and i think we often hear that. That’s because it’s mainly to feel the uptake of reporting guidelines because people perhaps feel that the more general main reporting guidelines aren’t quite specific enough for individual fields and disciplines. Um and so what we’ve been hearing is that the development of of the more discipline specific ones although they’re very similar to the main guidelines like consult and strobe um are being developed purely to make it easier for people um to use reporting guidelines in those particular disciplines. Um you know we don’t we don’t know if that’s the case obviously but that’s sort of the general uh understanding of why these uh these reporting guidelines are being developed in greater numbers. Yeah we refer to these as as application papers sometimes where somebody takes a reporting guideline and just shows how it applies in their area and they can be really helpful for some folks.
Um in terms of sorry gary yes i was just gonna say so. I just want to make a statement because it’s a misconception so we don’t approve or endorse any single guideline as as as of today we never have done. Um that may change in in the future but at the moment we have always adopted very inclusive approach that if authors have made some attempts to provide guidance to so if not if guideline developers have made some attempts to provide some guidance for authors on reporting. We’ve included it in in our library but being in our library does not mean we endorse or approve that reporting guideline and we’ve just completed a um a very large audit of our library of 400 reporting guidelines. Um and some of the guidelines in there now will be removed because they’re not proper guidelines and in the future we we may be um deriving um some kind of approval system to say this is this has gone through the various steps that we um approve of in terms of development and reporting guideline. They’ve gone through a consensus-based process so it’s not the guys down the pub on the back of an envelope thinking of things that was this report. They’ve actually gone through a consensus-based process with key experts. Around the world blah blah blah to derive some evidence-based recommendations reports. But just to say. We don’t approve or endorse anything as of today so yeah i think that’s a really important point when you see a journal. Say you must use equator network reporting guidelines there is no such thing as an equator network reporting guideline the equator network is a space for all of the reporting guidelines to be collected together in one space and shona does a huge amount of work on that keeping track of the literature and finding them all um but how they get into. There’s no there’s no like quality assessment or anything as gary says as yet so.
There’s no such thing as an equate network reporting guideline that said there are a number of people. Affiliated with the equator network through our centers and those people have been involved in the development of a lot of reporting guidelines. So i think that’s where some of the the the fuzziness can come in is that you’ll see a lot of the same names cropping up. And that’s people who have been involved in a lot of development of reporting guidelines and are affiliated with equator. But it still doesn’t make the reporting guideline an equator network reporting guideline those don’t exist as yet as i’d like to add uh there are more than 100 reporting guidelines under development at the moment we have a list of them in our website and we do recommend that developers use certain methods to do that so there is a toolkit for the developer development of reporting guidelines. Uh that you can say it is equator development toolkit and we recommend that those interested in developing something in their field in their discipline. Do uh get to know and use them yeah. I think that’s a really good point. So you might have seen reporting guidelines under development. You might have seen us saying on social media please if you are developing a reporting guideline register it with us that’s not an approval process but what that is is a way for us to keep track of the reporting guidelines and it’s also a really helpful space so that if somebody is thinking about developing a reporting guideline they can come and see first. Is somebody developing it already. How we can prevent a little bit of that duplication of effort so. I’m not seeing any other questions in the chat so i think just because of who we’ve got here the question about. How do you decide then when a new reporting guideline is needed because we have people in this room everybody everybody on the panel here has been involved in reporting guideline development and is involved in some develop guiding development at the moment.
So how do we go about deciding that a new guideline is actually neat. I think this kind of goes with with the previous question. Uh i didn’t want to to extend too much because i didn’t know how many questions there was still to answer but one very good way of of looking at a reporting guideline is assessing whether it was evidence-based or not so now to answer the question uh how to decide whether a reporting guideline a new reporting guideline or an extension to an existing reporting guideline is needed usually or ideally. You would say you appraise the literature you see what’s out there in that specific field being diffused a specific type of study design or or a medical specialty. And you check how well studies are reported in this area. Uh and you can do that. Uh and again i think patricia would be better to talk a little bit about it. But you can uh use the reporting guidelines to check whether certain items have been reported or whether there is a a systematic lack of information for a specific uh item of a reporting guideline but bearing in mind that reporting guidelines are not necessarily critical appraisal tools or reporting quality. Checklists they are a list of items that you should report and if there is the need for a new reporting guideline to a specific air area you will probably find a lot of lack of information in that area because perhaps it will need more detail on the reporting guidelines that are available so i would say that the first thing is to assess the the the existing literature together some evidence basis for justifying the need of a new uh reporting guideline. Does anyone want to add anything to that. Thank you so much michael. Oh it should be. It should start evidence-based right. Is there evidence that something is being reported poorly poorly in your area. Usually that evidence comes from users of the evidence so they want to find things in papers and they are not finding them and that bothers them and then they say oh.
We need to guide people on how to write about this particular thing. This is usually how the story of the development of a reporting guideline starts so uh evidence of uh bad reporting that you should collect objectively and then uh you should gather experts in the area to say what’s missing and their steps of development for you to follow about that fantastic. I do think one of the things we have been talking about. More sort of an equator is this idea of if somebody says oh there’s poor reporting in my field. The question is is there poor reporting in your field because the current guidance doesn’t meet the needs of your field or is there poor reporting in your field because your field is not using the existing guidance because if the field is not using the existing guidance there is no point in creating more guidance step one is getting people to use the existing guidance and sometimes that’s the story of updating existing reporting guidelines too so sometimes the existing reporting guidelines are not being used or used as much as they should or as well as they should and they and the development developers um see that and start an update that to fill the gaps in their checklists and earnings. Okay thank you mark. Michael did you want to add to that. I was just going to say that. Then you go for the natural next step you you check the the the reporting completeness in a specific area and then you check whether existing reporting guidance would be sufficient and there are many ways of doing this. You can do a survey you can you can run a a more structured healthy exercise and this and now a little bit of personal experience. This is something that i’m really trying to to wait in my my project because at the end of the day who decides whether a new reporting guideline is needed uh it shouldn’t be the the solely the the research biomed research international, pharmacological researchers leading the project but the community as a whole so you present them with the lack of uh you present them with the failures in reporting completeness.
You present them with the existing guidance and then collectively you decide whether the existing guidance would be sufficient to to fulfill that uh that gap or whether actually more tailored or extended reporting guidance would be needed because there are specific particularities in that area. That are definitely not covered by the existing guidance. Yeah thank you right. I’m not seeing any other questions popping into the chat so do feel free to throw anything into the chat that you are curious about with reporting guidelines using reporting guidelines finding the correct reporting guideline using it in peer review or in anything to do with developing reporting guidelines or indeed just general how reporting guidelines function uh patricia. Yeah uh while people are thinking about new questions what we could do is to give an example so shona is here and she could tell us the story about the development of prisma search so why was prisma search developed china. Yeah absolutely um yeah well. Christmas search was developed. Um essentially along the same lines as michael’s outline so we as a professional information specialist. Um we were seeing very very regularly um papers being published that just did not provide the detail required for us to assess the literature search to know what was done um and what was found by the literature search even when they were following prisma right. Oh yeah even following prisma because the prisma guideline doesn’t provide enough details because it’s a general uh guideline on systematic reviews. It doesn’t have enough detail in the items related to the literature search for people to follow. That will give them enough information to to report this literature search fully and so it was identified that um a guideline specifically focusing on the literature search was going to be required and that that would then be used alongside prisma. So the idea is. If you’re performing a review you would use the prisma guideline for reporting the review and then this additional prisma search guideline will be used to report the lich research biomed research international, pharmacological research aspect within the review and so there were a number of studies that had been published showing that literature searches.
Were not being reported um properly and fully and it was decided that um a search related reporting guidelines should be developed and so an international group was formed. Um and yeah we we started to develop the guideline with consensus process. Um and review um and it i mean i should add you know. Develop developing reporting guidelines is very lengthy and very involved process. So it’s not something you can do very quickly. It really does take quite a long time to to develop a robust reporting guideline. That really does um stand up to to um you know use and and fully reporting and every aspect that’s required but um yeah it did the guideline was published in 2021 um and and we have actually the the guideline itself the ene and the guideline are together in one place so people don’t have to access two different documents so we decided to combine them um into one document to make it easier for people and the examples are all combined as well but yeah fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing that shona so we’re getting to half past two um which. I’m aware it’s an hour and a half that we’ve been going so i think if they’re if folks have more questions. We are very happy to keep chatting. I think that’s really. It’s been a really interesting few questions. We’ve really much enjoyed them. So thank you so much for that um and i think otherwise unless anybody has um would ask the rest of the panel. Was there anything that you we wanted to talk about further. Okay fantastic i think then. Let’s let’s wrap it up at an hour and a half. I think that’s a big chunk of your time. Um for everybody we will as always hang out for a moment longer if you had a question that you didn’t want to ask while we’re recording but otherwise thank you so much for having spent this time with us today.
We really appreciate it if you ever need any help with reporting guidelines you can contact us through our website so through equator hyphen network dot. Org um and will’s popping in the links for future ukran webinars but yeah on behalf of the whole panel. Thank you so much for joining us today and enjoy the rest of your day further.
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