EQUATOR Network News Feb 2009

EQUATOR Network at the Peer Review Congress, 9 September 2009, Vancouver

The Peer Review Congress is undoubtedly going to be one of the most exciting events of this year. The EQUATOR Network hopes to contribute to the main programme by organising two satellite events on the day before the congress starts:

Workshop for journal editors and peer reviewers that will provide an intensive overview of major scientific and ethical issues relating to the quality of health research reporting will be held in the afternoon on Wednesday 9 September.

In the evening, following the last year success of the inaugural EQUATOR Annual Lecture, Dr Richard Horton, Editor-in Chief of The Lancet will present 2nd Annual Lecture. The talk will focus on important issues relating to the research reporting and will include areas such as publication bias against low-income countries, failure to collaborate fairly with authors in low/middle income countries, examining the global impact of research findings, equity issues in medical research, and how high-income countries might work to promote a fairer reporting of global health issues.

We believe that both events will be a great start to the main congress and hope to see many of you there.

The EQUATOR Network will also have a stand on display during the congress which might be an excellent opportunity for you to meet our team.

Up-to-date information can be found on the EQUATOR website

Other EQUATOR Events in 2009

The EQUATOR Network will run the following workshops:
Workshop: Accurate and transparent reporting of health research: Why it's important and how it can help you get published
Date: 13-16 May 2009
Venue: Society for General Internal Medicine, Annual Meeting 2009, Miami Beach, Florida

Workshop: Enabling systematic reviews: reporting research with clarity, accuracy, and transparency
Date: 11-12 March 2009
Venue: 7th Canadian Cochrane Symposium, Halifax, Canada 

New EQUATOR Research Fellow

The EQUATOR team is very pleased to welcome Allison Hirst as its new Research Fellow. Allison will start working at the end of March and will focus mainly on the development of education and training programme; she will also carry out research related to health research reporting and implementation of reporting guidelines.

Although the EQUATOR team will still remain small (two full time staff with an extremely dedicated Steering Group) we hope to advance the project considerably this year, in particular in the development of useful educational materials and ensuring much wider worldwide use of our resources.

How the EQUATOR Website is Used

We are very pleased to see steadily growing traffic on our website with more and more journals linking to EQUATOR resources in their instructions to authors. More information on from which journals and information portals we receive most visitors can be found here.  

Biomed Central is the latest publishing group who added a link to EQUATOR resources and made clear requirements about the use of available reporting guidelines (more information). 

New Reporting Guidelines Published

STREGA for reporting genetic association studies 
Little J, Higgins JP, Ioannidis JP, Moher D, Gagnon F, von EE, et al. STrengthening the REporting of Genetic Association Studies (STREGA)- An Extension of the STROBE Statement. PLoS Med 2009 Feb 3;6(2):e22.

STARE "“ HI for reporting evaluation studies in health informatics
Talmon J, Ammenwerth E, Brender J, de KN, Nykanen P, Rigby M. STARE-HI--Statement on reporting of evaluation studies in Health Informatics. INT J MED INFORM 2009 Jan;78(1):1-9.

CONSORT extension for reporting pragmatic trials
Zwarenstein M, Treweek S, Gagnier JJ, Altman DG, Tunis S, Haynes B, Oxman AD, Moher D; CONSORT group; Pragmatic Trials in Healthcare (Practihc) group.  Improving the reporting of pragmatic trials: an extension of the CONSORT statement. BMJ 2008;337:a2390. 
PMID: 19001484

Reporting recommendations for manuscripts submitted to APA journals
American Psychological Association (APA) formed the Working Group on Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS) that reviewed the existing reporting guidelines and refined them to address specific needs of APA publications. The article describes work done by the JARS group and provides details of JARS reporting recommendations.
Reporting standards for research in psychology: Why do we need them? What might they be? Am Psychol 2008 Dec;63(9):839-51.

Reporting medical dispatch in the emergency medicine studies
Castren M, Karlsten R, Lippert F, Christensen EF, Bovim E, Kvam AM, et al. Recommended guidelines for reporting on emergency medical dispatch when conducting research in emergency medicine: the Utstein style. Resuscitation 2008 Nov;79(2):193-7.

And finally not published yet but in the final stages of a development are WIDER recommendations for reporting of behaviour change interventions 

EQUATOR 'pick' Papers of Interest

Two very interesting editorials were published last year by Kathleen Fairman and Frederick Curtiss from the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy. First shows in great details far reaching consequences of inadequate research reporting demonstrated on a specific example of the study investigating the impact of co-payments on medication adherence.

The second editorial follows a half year later discussing the problems of research reporting in the field where most studies are funded by parties with commercial interests and discusses possible solutions to the problems. In the editorial we find extensive review of research reporting guidelines and their comparisons, discussion of key principles of conducting and reporting research and lot more.

Two quotes from the paper:
'Using these standards does not take a degree in research methodology or statistics; it takes only the commitment to adhere to them.'
"¦and the final sentence of the editorial does not need any comments: 'All stakeholders, but especially patients, have a lot to lose when studies of treatment options are not validated against accepted standards for conducting and reporting research'.

Fairman KA, Curtiss FR. Making the world safe for evidence-based policy: let's slay the biases in research on value-based insurance design. J Manag Care Pharm 2008 Mar;14(2):198-204.
PMID: 18331122

Fairman KA, Curtiss FR. Rethinking the "whodunnit" approach to assessing the quality of health care research--a call to focus on the evidence in evidence-based practice. J Manag Care Pharm 2008 Sep;14(7):661-74.

Finally, a very recent editorial by Jan Vandenbroucke highlighting the complexity of implementing reporting guidelines in practice. The editorial is an interesting reading for authors as well as editors and peer reviewers.
Vandenbroucke JP. STREGA, STROBE, STARD, SQUIRE, MOOSE, PRISMA, GNOSIS, TREND, ORION, COREQ, QUOROM, REMARK... and CONSORT: for whom does the guideline toll? J CLIN EPIDEMIOL 2009 Jan 30.

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