Reporting guidelines for oncology research: helping to maximise the impact of your research.
MacCarthy A., Kirtley S., de Beyer JA., Altman DG., Simera I.
Many reports of health research omit important information needed to assess their methodological robustness and clinical relevance. Without clear and complete reporting, it is not possible to identify flaws or biases, reproduce successful interventions, or use the findings in systematic reviews or meta-analyses. The EQUATOR Network (http://www.equator-network.org/) promotes responsible reporting and the use of reporting guidelines to improve the accuracy, completeness, and transparency of health research. EQUATOR supports researchers by providing online resources and training. EQUATOR Oncology, a project funded by Cancer Research UK, aims to support cancer researchers reporting their research through the provision of online resources. In this article, our objective is to highlight reporting issues related to oncology research publications and to introduce reporting guidelines that are designed to aid high-quality reporting. We describe generic reporting guidelines for the main study types, and explain how these guidelines should and should not be used. We also describe 37 oncology-specific reporting guidelines, covering different clinical areas (e.g., haematology or urology) and sections of the report (e.g., methods or study characteristics); most of these are little-used. We also provide some background information on EQUATOR Oncology, which focuses on addressing the reporting needs of the oncology research community.