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PRISMA statement endorsed by BioMed Central journals -

A new reporting guideline for systematic reviews and meta-analyses - the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement - has been published and is endorsed in open access publisher BioMed Central's instructions to authors. The guidelines address systematic reviews and meta-analyses, which are considered the 'gold standard' of medical evidence.

The PRISMA statement is a revised and 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 there have been improvements in the reporting of systematic reviews since the publication of QUOROM, 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 of the company's 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 randomised controlled trials (CONSORT), systematic reviews (PRISMA), meta-analyses of observational studies (MOOSE), diagnostic accuracy studies (STARD) and qualitative studies (RATS). Authors are advised to 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 should make use of these when drafting their manuscript. Peer reviewers will also be asked to refer to these checklists when evaluating these studies.

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