New CONSORT Website

To keep up with the growing complexity and increasing impact of the CONSORT Statement in the world-wide medical research field, the CONSORT Group is excited to announce the launch of the new CONSORT website, hoping to further its impact on improving the quality of clinical research.

Since 1996, when the original CONSORT Statement (43) was published, CONSORT has branched out into different aspects beyond the initial CONSORT checklist and flow diagram. For instance, when the CONSORT Statement was revised in 2001 (56-58), it was accompanied by the publication of the explanatory document (205) to elaborate on the rationale and evidence underpinning the items on the CONSORT checklist. The revision was also translated into 10 different languages other than English, increasing its accessibility. Furthermore, modifications or extensions to the Statement have made it applicable to trial designs, types of data and interventions, and they currently include guidelines for the reporting of cluster trials (209), non-inferiority and equivalence trials (212), harms (208), and herbal interventions (213, 214). It is clear that the CONSORT initiative, with its aim of addressing problems associated with reporting trials, strengthens its influence as it increases in its scope and becomes more applicable.

The CONSORT Statement is also growing in impact. Considerably gaining support since its inception in 1996, over 200 journals and editorial groups worldwide now endorse it. The revised Statement of 2001 (56-58) has been cited in journals over 1,300 times. The explanatory paper (205) that also appeared in 2001 has been cited over 500 times.

The impact of CONSORT is also reflected in the approximately 40,000 hits per month that the CONSORT website has received (dates, ref).

With the financial support of the UK National Coordinating Centre for Research and Methodology, the CONSORT Group has been working with Minervation, a web design group specializing in knowledge management in evidence-based health care, to design an improved face and functionality for the CONSORT website.

The new CONSORT website provides much enhanced capability. Containing the definitive version of the CONSORT Statement, the new website features improved navigational usability, and has distinctive sections on the CONSORT checklist and flow diagram, as well as on the various CONSORT extensions. Visitors can learn about the history and impact of CONSORT and a regularly updated news section will keep them up-to-date about new and ongoing developments. They can also gain access to related resources, including other reporting guidelines and a database of literature relevant to CONSORT. Another new element will provide visitors with a chance to support the CONSORT initiative, and be recognized on the list of CONSORT endorsers and sponsors.

Like the CONSORT initiative and the CONSORT Statement itself however, the launch does not mark the end of development. All comments and suggestions from visitors about the website are welcome. The CONSORT executive are continuing to develop more functions, such as a "frequently asked questions" section, an interactive forum to discuss topics and issues, and newsletter subscriptions. Nonetheless, the launch of the new CONSORT website is an exciting reflection of how far the CONSORT initiative has already come, and opens up possibilities for further initiatives

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