A new reporting guideline for systematic reviews and meta-analyses – the study design considered to produce the highest level of evidence for clinical decision-makers – has been published, and is endorsed in BioMed Central’s instructions to authors.
The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement is a revised an updated version of the QUOROM Statement (QUality Of Reporting Of Meta-analyses), which was published in 1999 to address deficiencies in the reporting of meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials.
Although since publication of QUOROM there have been improvements in the reporting of systematic reviews, the PRISMA Group say that overall quality is still suboptimal. The PRISMA statement, co-published in 5 medical journals, has been updated to address this along with "several conceptual and practical advances in the science of systematic reviews." This includes more explicitly addressing the importance of reporting biases, such as publication bias, in reports of systematic reviews.
BioMed Central supports initiatives aimed at increasing the quality and transparency of research reporting and endorses such groups as CONSORT, QUOROM, and more recently umbrella organisations for reporting guidelines such as EQUATOR and MIBBI. All our relevant journals’ instructions to authors and peer review guidelines have therefore been updated to reflect the evolution of QUOROM to PRISMA.
"Systematic reviews supports initiatives aimed at improving the reporting of biomedical
research. Checklists have been developed for a number of study designs,
including randomized controlled trials (CONSORT), systematic reviews (PRISMA), meta-analyses of observational studies (MOOSE), diagnostic accuracy studies (STARD) and qualitative studies (RATS). We recommend authors refer to the EQUATOR network website for further information on the available reporting guidelines for health research, and the MIBBI
Portal for prescriptive checklists for reporting biological and
biomedical research where applicable. Authors are requested to make use
of these when drafting their manuscript and peer reviewers will also be
asked to refer to these checklists when evaluating these studies."
This editorial policy applies to:
Independent journals, including Trials:
BMC Series journals, such as BMC Medicine
Special medical journals, such as Arthritis Research & Therapy