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Can J Anaesth. 2013 Aug;60(8):813-21. doi: 10.1007/s12630-013-9973-z. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Review article: reporting guidelines in the biomedical literature.

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Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada.



Complete and accurate reporting of original research in the biomedical literature is essential for healthcare professionals to translate research outcomes appropriately into clinical practice. Use of reporting guidelines has become commonplace among journals, peer reviewers, and authors. This narrative review aims 1) to inform investigators, peer reviewers, and authors of original research in anesthesia on reporting guidelines for frequently reported study designs; 2) to describe the evidence supporting the use of reporting guidelines and checklists; and 3) to discuss the implications of widespread adoption of reporting guidelines by biomedical journals and peer reviewers.


Inadequate reporting can influence the interpretation, translation, and application of published research. As a result, reporting guidelines have been developed in order to improve the quality, completeness, and accuracy of original research reports. Biomedical journals increasingly endorse the use of reporting guidelines for authors and peer reviewers. To date, there is encouraging evidence that reporting guidelines improve the quality of reporting of published research, but the rates of both adoption of reporting guidelines and improvement in reporting are far from ideal.


Use of reporting guidelines improves the quality of published research in biomedical journals. Nevertheless, the quality of research in the biomedical literature remains suboptimal despite increased adherence to reporting guidelines.

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