Reporting Guidelines

There are international reporting guidelines for every type of research design and it is imperative to ensure that if you are to report on an aspect of a study, you must have included it in the protocol at the outset.

For example, some journals require that the study must be registered in order to publish.

You should consider possible dissemination and presentation opportunities during the proposal stage of your research so that you are able to optimise the time, money and energy that has been spent on your research. Remember your research is not completed until you have disseminated the information and knowledge that has emerged.

A reporting guideline is a simple, structured tool for health researchers to use while writing manuscripts. A reporting guideline provides a minimum list of information needed to ensure a manuscript can be, for example:

  • Understood by a reader,
  • Replicated by a researcher,
  • Used by a doctor to make a clinical decision, and
  • Included in a systematic review.

Reporting guidelines are more than just some thoughts about what needs to be in an academic paper. We define a reporting guideline as:

“A checklist, flow diagram, or structured text to guide authors in reporting a specific type of research, developed using explicit methodology.”

Whether presented as structured text or a checklist, a reporting guideline:

  • presents a clear list of reporting items that should appear in a paper and
  • explains how the list was developed.


UPDATED NOV 22, 2023



Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research
Available online:

A catalogue of reporting guidelines for health research
Available online: