Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Guidelines for reporting the results of medical research

Iveta Simera and four co-authors, Guidelines for Reporting Health Research: The EQUATOR Network's Survey of Guideline Authors, PLoS Medicine, June 24, 2008.  Excerpt:

...Unclear reporting of a study's methodology and findings prevents critical appraisal of the study and limits effective dissemination. Inadequate reporting of medical research carries with it an additional risk of inadequate and misleading study results being used by patients and health care providers. Patients may be harmed and scarce health care resources may be expended on ineffective health care treatments through such inadequate reporting. There is a wealth of evidence that much of published medical research is reported poorly....

Reporting guidelines are not routinely used on a large scale, and their potential is not being fully realised....

Also see the PLoS press release on this article.

Comment.  The article surveys 37 different sets of guidelines for reporting the results of medical research.  But it doesn't indicate whether any of them recommend OA as a way to advance the goals of the guidelines:  critical appraisal of the work and uptake for further research and patient care.