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EQUATOR Network Newsletter                  December 2013

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Welcome to the December 2013 issue of the EQUATOR Newsletter.

Our Newsletter highlights new reporting guidelines and other relevant news and developments.

We hope that you find this update useful and interesting! Please do feel free to share the Newsletter with your colleagues.

The EQUATOR Network Team 

Support for “Declaration of transparency”

Following publication in the BMJ, in October 2013, of a proposed declaration of transparency a number of journals have now expressed their support for the transparency declaration and now ask lead authors to sign a declaration affirming that "this manuscript is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained".

The following journals have now expressed their support:
BMJ Open
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Canadian Journal of Anesthesia
NIHR Journals Library

Reference: Altman DG, Moher D. Declaration of transparency for each research article. BMJ 2013;347:f4796 [free full text].

Endorsement of the EQUATOR Network

The EQUATOR Network has recently received numerous endorsements recognising its role in working to improve the reliability and value of medical research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of research studies.

The following organisations have recently formally endorsed the work of EQUATOR:
Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD)
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
Swiss branch of the Cochrane Collaboration

We encourage more organisations to express their commitment to accurate and transparent reporting. To join the organisations supporting EQUATOR and its mission please email Iveta Simera (

A full list of organisations who have expressed their support for the EQUATOR Network and for accurate and transparent reporting is available on the EQUATOR website.

New repository of ongoing training opportunities for authors, reviewers and editors

A Repository of Ongoing Training Opportunities is available on the WAME website. It includes a list of ongoing training opportunities for authors of peer-reviewed scientific publications, manuscript peer reviewers, and editors of scientific journals.

The repository was developed as part of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded project led by Dr David Moher and Dr James Galipeau. The project also included a systematic review of the effectiveness of training programs in writing for scholarly publication, manuscript peer review, and journal editing (i.e., journalology). The purpose of the repository is to provide a resource for authors, peer reviewers, and editors to obtain information about the range of training options that exist to improve the quality of reporting of studies in scientific journals.

A Repository of Ongoing Training Opportunities (Accessed on 8 November 2013)

EQUATOR workshop for WHO staff in Geneva

On 31 October 2013 Professor Doug Altman and Dr Iveta Simera were delighted to run an EQUATOR workshop at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. Over 40 people attended the workshop which focused on “Reporting guidelines: Can their use make the work of systematic reviewers and guideline developers better?”.

The workshop summarised the major reporting deficiencies identified in health research publications and gave an overview of key reporting guidelines. The EQUATOR Network online resources were introduced and their practical use discussed. Methodological challenges and shortcomings in the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews were also highlighted.

The programme and slides can be accessed here.

Latest PAHO research newsletter highlights EQUATOR plans to engage librarians

The EQUATOR Network aims to develop more specialised resources to help health-related librarians/information specialists around the world to raise awareness about reporting guidelines.

Recently, PAHO country office librarians under the PAHO HQ library joined a virtual session where the initiative “Improving research reporting in Latin America and the Caribbean” was presented. The session focusing specifically on Latin America and  the Caribbean was moderated by Shona Kirtley and supported by Iveta Simera and Eleana C Villanueva. Shona explained why librarians and information specialists are key in this project to improve health research reporting and alerted participants to the online resources available on the EQUATOR website. She also outlined EQUATOR plans to develop comprehensive, locally appropriate, translated online resources for librarians around the world to use to raise awareness of reporting guidelines amongst the clinicians and health researchers with whom they work. Shona invited participants to join this new initiative and encouraged them to suggest ideas regarding what resources should be developed.

Whilst these comprehensive resources are developed a webpage specifically aimed at librarians has been produced that links to basic and introductory resources about reporting guidelines that librarians may find useful. For more information visit: EQUATOR Toolkits – Librarians

PAHO research newsletter October 2013

EQUATOR Teachers Toolkit

Development of a Teachers Toolkit is underway which will consist of a variety of resources to help all those involved in the training and teaching of health professionals to promote reporting guidelines, hold research reporting workshops and provide clinicians and researchers with the relevant reporting guidelines for their research studies.

Whilst we develop specific resources aimed at trainers, lecturers and teachers, we have brought together various resources to help lecturers and trainers to learn and teach about the importance of good research reporting, the impact of poor reporting on further research and clinical practice, and currently available key reporting guidelines. Tips on how to select appropriate guidelines for a particular study design are also included and PowerPoint slides that can be incorporated into presentations are also provided.

The toolkit includes resources on:
  • Importance of good research reporting
  • Introduction to reporting guidelines
  • Key reporting guidelines for the main types of research studies
  • Spotting study design and selecting the appropriate reporting guideline
The Teachers Toolkit is available here.