Infectious disease journals’ adherence to reporting guidelines: a preliminary study

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: Study results published in academic medical journals inform and influence healthcare decision making. Sufficient reporting of studies is primarily charged to those performing the research. However, academic medical journals can promote more complete reporting of their published studies. Recommending or requiring the use of reporting guidelines and prospective trial registration may be methods to ensure published studies adhere to rigorous reporting standards.

Objective: The main objective of this study is to evaluate the ‘instructions to authors’ pages of infectious disease journals to establish the rate of recommendation or implementation of reporting guidelines for common study designs used in the medical literature. In addition, we aim to assess the recommendation or enforcement of the registration of clinical trials and systematic reviews by these same journals.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review to evaluate the top 100 infectious disease medical journals according to the Scopus CiteScore tool. Editorial staff members of each journal were contacted via email once per week for three successive weeks to determine accepted study types by their journal. A pilot-tested google form was used to extract journal data, including reporting guideline requirements, from ‘instruction to authors’ pages in a masked, triplicate fashion.

Results: Results of the 100 infectious disease journals that were examined showed that 65 were published in Europe. The ICMJE was mentioned in 83 of these journals. Of the examined reporting guidelines, CONSORT was mentioned the most, with 52% of journals recommending this guideline. The only other reporting guidelines mentioned in over half of the journals were PRISMA (53%) and ARRIVE (62%). The MOOSE and QUOROM guidelines were the least mentioned as both were in less than 10% of the journals. Clinical trial registry statements were mentioned in over 70% of the journals, however only 62% required this.

Conclusions: This study found that CONSORT, PRISMA, and STROBE were the most often reported guidelines amongst infectious disease journals. Many reporting guidelines were not mentioned by journals, such as MOOSE and QUORUM. The requirement of reporting guidelines by infectious disease journals would aid in standardizing reporting data and increasing both transparency and reproducibility of studies.

Additionally, guidelines for authors were often difficult to find, with multiple links to follow at times. It may prove beneficial for journals to construct author instructions in ways in which prospective authors are able to know exactly what guidelines to use when attempting to publish their work.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2023
EventOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2023 - Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, 1111 W. 17th street, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 13 Feb 202317 Feb 2023


ConferenceOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • reporting guidelines
  • infectious disease
  • preliminary study


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