Assessment of Reporting Guidelines and Trial Registration Requirements in Nursing Journals: A Decade-Long Review
2Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, New Taipei City, Taiwan, Taiwan
3Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Erlin Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan, Taiwan
4Department of Nursing, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan; Research Center in Nursing Clinical Practice, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan, Taiwan
Transparent and accurate reporting of research studies is crucial to promote the reliability of medical research literature. The EQUATOR network lists various reporting guidelines, such as CONSORT and PRISMA, to facilitate this process. Similarly, trial registration has been found to improve research transparency and strengthen the validity and value of the scientific evidence base. Many biomedical journals mandate that authors adhere to the relevant reporting guidelines and support clinical trial registration policies outlined by the World Health Organization. However, the extent to which nursing journals prioritize adherence to reporting guidelines and trial registration requirements remains unclear. As such, a thorough investigation into the attention given to these crucial components of research reporting in nursing journals is necessary.
Objectives: To assess changes in basic reporting guidelines and trial registration requirements in nursing journals over the past decade.
Methods: The “Instructions for Authors” of nursing journals included in ISI Web of Science was reviewed for evidence of an editorial policy on the reporting guidelines and trial registration in March 2012, March 2015, March 2019, and March 2023.
Results: In 2012, only 25 (28.1%) of the 89 nursing journals reviewed required adherence to relevant reporting guidelines, and a mere 7 (7.7%) required clinical trial registration. However, by 2023, out of the 125 nursing journals evaluated, 90 (72.0%) mandated compliance with recommended reporting guidelines, and 79 (44.8%) required or recommended prospective trial registration prior to participant recruitment. These findings suggest a substantial improvement in the attention given to reporting guidelines and trial registration requirements in nursing journals over the past decade.
Conclusions: In conclusion, nursing journals have made significant progress in adhering to reporting guidelines and trial registration requirements over the past decade. Although more than half of the assessed journals now require compliance with reporting guidelines and nearly half recommend or require trial registration, there is still a need for clear editorial policies to ensure the reliability and transparency of nursing research literature. Such policies will improve the validity and value of the scientific evidence base in nursing. Patient, public, and/or healthcare consumer involvement: public.