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Reporting quality of the Delphi technique in reporting guidelines: a protocol for a systematic analysis of the EQUATOR Network Library

04 Apr 2019

Introduction

Reporting guidelines are important tools for improving the quality of medical research. The Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) Network’s Library contains a comprehensive and up-to-date database of reporting guidelines relevant to health research. Only 31% of reporting guidelines published from 2010 to 2014 reported using the Delphi technique, and the reporting quality of the Delphi technique in reporting guidelines is unknown even though the use of the Delphi technique was recommended in the guidance for reporting guidelines. We will assess the quality reports of the Delphi technique or modified Delphi technique in reporting guidelines.

Methods and analysis

The present study is a systematic analysis of the EQUATOR Network Library. We will include all reporting guidelines in the EQUATOR Network that used the Delphi technique or modified Delphi technique, published since 1 January 2011 and registered in the EQUATOR on or before 31 May 2018. Our primary outcome is the reporting quality of the Delphi technique, measured by the quality score (each item) in the Delphi technique. We will also examine the relationship between the reporting quality score (each item) of the Delphi technique and year of publication, number of authors, impact factor, sources of funding (industry, non-industry), multiple publications and whether the guidelines are published in open access policy.

Ethics and dissemination

Ethics approval will not be applicable for this study. This protocol has been registered in the University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry. We will publish our findings in a peer-reviewed journal and may also present them at conferences.

Trial registration number

UMIN000032685.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open