Table 1

Rationale of the interventions identified.

GroupInterventionRationale
Training on the practical use of RGsIntroduction of RGs and journalology into graduate curricula18–22 To introduce good research reporting habits early in young researchers’ scientific careers.
Student’s development of protocols for coursework and research using RGs21
Funder’s support of author training on RGs23 Authors, editors and peer reviewers have insufficient training in issues related to reporting.
Training for peer reviewers and editors on RGs by journals22 23
Enhancing accessibility and understandingDissemination of RGs by scientific associations24 A large number of researchers are not aware of the existence of RGs.
Translation of RGs to further languages25 Language barriers may affect the proper use of RGs.
Development of expanded database of examples for each RG26 Authors need more examples of good reporting to properly understand certain items.
Encouraging adherenceAuthor use of RGs as a template for grant application proposals21 Using RGs in early stages may facilitate completeness of reporting of published research.
Required checklist for ethics approval application11
Funder’s requirement of checklists in author’s report21 108
Author use of the writing aid tool COBWEB12 (A) Authors need help to successfully adhere to RGs at the writing stage and (B) Dividing RG items into bullet points and providing examples might help.
Author use of a structured approach for reporting research47 112 (A) To help authors avoid omissions, (B) to aid reviewers and editors in appraising articles and (C) to allow more efficient data extraction during the systematic review process.
Author mark-up of the manuscript to indicate where each RG item is addressed109
Editorial statement endorsing certain RGs27–46 48–106 113 Authors read editorial statements and follow ‘Instructions to authors’.
Recommendation or requirement to follow RGs in the ‘Instructions to authors’27–46 48–106 113
Requirement to submit an RG checklist together with the manuscript indicating page numbers corresponding to each item27–46 48–106 113 Authors may not consider editorial statements or recommendations in ‘Instructions to authors’ to be important. Compulsory submission of checklists or text mark-up may encourage authors to be more compliant with RGs.
Requirement to populate and submit an RG checklist with text from the manuscript114
Journal development of core versions of RGs containing key items110 Focusing on the most important items could be more effective than considering the whole checklist.
Guidance to authors on manuscript preparation by publication officers111 Trained journal officers may enhance authors’ compliance with RGs during manuscript preparation.
Suggestion for peer reviewers to use RGs107 Peer reviewers often do not detect reporting flaws. Therefore, they may need to follow a more systematic approach and use RGs.
Editor’s questions to peer reviewers about whether the authors have followed RGs115
Checking adherence and providing feedbackCompleteness of reporting check by editors117 Requiring checklists at submission does not guarantee adherence. Editors and peer reviewers have to check whether submitted papers are compliant with RGs.
Peer review against RGs118
Internal peer review against RGs by a trained editorial assistant120 It is extremely unlikely that the average clinical peer reviewer has the methodological expertise to check a paper against RGs.
Implementation of the automatic tool Statreviewer121
Email to authors to revise the manuscript according to RGs13 It might be more effective to ask authors for adherence to RGs during the revision process because they will do anything to get their paper published.
Implementation of the tool WebCONSORT119
Completeness of reporting check at copyediting122 Copyediting and postpublication offer alternate time points to improve adherence to RGs.
Postpublication peer review123
Involvement of expertsStatistician involvement (78 128–130)Professionals with specific knowledge of RGs might help authors when designing, conducting or reporting their research.
  • Medical writer involvement.108

  • COBWEB, CONSORT-based web tool; CONSORT, Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials.

  • RGs, reporting guidelines.