We are testing a new writing aid designed to increase the use of reporting guidelines by health researchers writing articles for publication in medical journals. We aim to recruit participants currently in the early or planning stages of writing a journal article.
The randomized trial will compare the completeness of reporting between a group given the GoodReports "intervention" — an article template containing items from the appropriate reporting guideline for their study — with a control group given enhanced "usual care" — a reporting guideline recommendation and general reporting guidance.
We think that participation in the trial should be a win-win for researchers hoping to enhance their chances of getting published in a good journal. All trial participants will receive a "completeness" report on their draft manuscript from reporting experts at Oxford University’s UK EQUATOR Centre whether they have been randomized to the intervention or the control group. This will give all participants a chance to improve their manuscript, if necessary, before they send it to the journal. This could also mean a smoother journey through peer review and the editorial process.
We urge readers to help spread the word to their research networks about this unique opportunity. Not only will participants benefit personally, but they will also be helping the EQUATOR Network develop and improve tools to help embed the use of reporting guidelines more fully into the research process, and reduce the waste caused by poor reporting.
Caroline Struthers is Senior EQUATOR Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She and the UK EQUATOR Centre Team have developed a writing aid to help health researchers use reporting guidelines. This post announces the opening of recruitment to a randomized trial to test whether the GoodReports writing aid is effective in improving the quality of articles submitted for publication.