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OBJECTIVES: Over 400 reporting guidelines are currently published, but the frequency of their use by authors to accurately and transparently report research remains unclear. This study examined citation counts of reporting guidelines and characteristics contributing to their citation impact. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Web of Science database was searched for citation counts of all reporting guidelines with a minimum citation age of 5 years. The total citation impact, mean citation impact and the factors contributing to 2- and 5-year citation rate were established. RESULTS: The search identified 296 articles of reporting guidelines from 1995 to 2013. The mean citations per year was 32.4 (95% confidence interval, 22.3-42.4 citations). The factors associated with 2- and 5-year citation performance of reporting guidelines included the following: open access to the reporting guideline, field of the publishing journal (general vs. specialized medical journal), impact factor of the publishing journal, simultaneous publication in multiple journals, and a male first author. CONCLUSION: The citation rate across reporting guidelines varied with journal impact factor, open access publication, field of the publishing journal, simultaneous publications, and a male first author. Gaps in citations highlight opportunities to increase visibility and encourage author use of reporting guidelines.

Original publication




Journal article


J clin epidemiol

Publication Date





96 - 104


Citation analysis, Citation impact, Clinical trials, Quality of reporting, Reporting guidelines, Standardized reporting, Authorship, Bibliometrics, Confidence Intervals, Data Analysis, Guidelines as Topic, Journal Impact Factor, Periodicals as Topic, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Research Report, Sex Factors, Time Factors