Journal article Open Access

Interventions to improve adherence to reporting guidelines in health research: a scoping review protocol

Blanco, David; Kirkham, Jamie J; Altman, Douglas G; Moher, David; Boutron, Isabelle; Cobo, Erik

Introduction There is evidence that the use of some
reporting guidelines, such as the Consolidated Standards
for Reporting Trials, is associated with improved
completeness of reporting in health research. However,
the current levels of adherence to reporting guidelines are
suboptimal. Over the last few years, several actions aiming
to improve compliance with reporting guidelines have been
taken and proposed. We will conduct a scoping review of
interventions to improve adherence to reporting guidelines
in health research that have been evaluated or suggested,
in order to inform future interventions.
Methods and analysis Our review will follow the Joanna
Briggs Institute scoping review methods manual. We will
search for relevant studies in MEDLINE, EMBASE and
Cochrane Library databases. Moreover, we will carry out
lateral searches from the reference lists of the included
studies, as well as from the lists of articles citing the
included ones. One reviewer will screen the full list, which
will be randomly split into two halves and independently
screened by the other two reviewers. Two reviewers will
perform data extraction independently. Discrepancies
will be solved through discussion. In addition, this search
strategy will be supplemented by a grey literature search.
The interventions found will be classified as assessed or
suggested, as well as according to different criteria, in
relation to their target (journal policies, journal editors,
authors, reviewers, funders, ethical boards or others) or
the research stage at which they are performed (design,
conducting, reporting or peer review). Descriptive
statistical analysis will be performed.
Ethics and dissemination A paper summarising the
findings from this review will be published in a peer reviewed
journal. This scoping review will contribute to a
better understanding and a broader perspective on how
the problem of adhering better to reporting guidelines
has been tackled so far. This could be a major first
step towards developing future strategies to improve
compliance with reporting guidelines in health research.

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