State of reporting of primary biomedical research: a scoping review protocol
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INTRODUCTION: Incomplete or inconsistent reporting remains a major concern in the biomedical literature. Incomplete or inconsistent reporting may yield the published findings unreliable, irreproducible or sometimes misleading. In this study based on evidence from systematic reviews and surveys that have evaluated the reporting issues in primary biomedical studies, we aim to conduct a scoping review with focuses on (1) the state-of-the-art extent of adherence to the emerging reporting guidelines in primary biomedical research, (2) the inconsistency between protocols or registrations and full reports and (3) the disagreement between abstracts and full-text articles. METHODS AND ANALYSES: We will use a comprehensive search strategy to retrieve all available and eligible systematic reviews and surveys in the literature. We will search the following electronic databases: Web of Science, Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), MEDLINE and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). Our outcomes are levels of adherence to reporting guidelines, levels of consistency between protocols or registrations and full reports and the agreement between abstracts and full reports, all of which will be expressed as percentages, quality scores or categorised rating (such as high, medium and low). No pooled analyses will be performed quantitatively given the heterogeneity of the included systematic reviews and surveys. Likewise, factors associated with improved completeness and consistency of reporting will be summarised qualitatively. The quality of the included systematic reviews will be evaluated using AMSTAR (a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews). ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: All findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals and relevant conferences. These results may advance our understanding of the extent of incomplete and inconsistent reporting, factors related to improved completeness and consistency of reporting and potential recommendations for various stakeholders in the biomedical community.
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