On Friday, EQUATOR reached its 3-month birthday. No, I don’t mean the Earth’s equator. I mean the EQUATOR Network, an initiative to improve scientific publications.
Officially launched on 26 June 2008, the EQUATOR network has a Web site providing resources for research reporting. Why the name EQUATOR? It stands for Enhancing the QUAality and Transparency 0f health Research.
An especially useful part of the EQUATOR Web site lists reporting guidelines—which it defines as “statements that provide advice on how to report research methods and findings”. The listed guidelines say what kinds of information to include in reports of various types of health research (such as randomized controlled trials, epidemiologic studies, and surveys). Some of the guidelines also suggest how to present the information. Using such guidelines helps ensure that articles are complete and clear.
The list of reporting guidelines includes references, so users can find the journal articles containing the guidelines. It also provides links to some of the guidelines.
In addition, the EQUATOR Web site has a section containing links to materials on copyright, research ethics, and other topics. Thus, although this Web site is mainly for health researchers, parts of it can help other researchers too.
Do reporting guidelines also exist for research in fields other than health? If you know of reporting guidelines in other scientific fields, please inform us of them by posting a comment.
Meanwhile, happy 3-month birthday, EQUATOR! We look forward to seeing its Web site continue to grow and develop.