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Systematic Reviews for Health: Standards for Reporting

A guide on how a Research Librarian can help you during a systematic review process

Standards for Reporting / Reporting Guidelines

The goal of reporting guidelines is to enhance transparency and improve the quality of health research reporting.


The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network is an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting and wider use of robust reporting guidelines.

It contains a comprehensive searchable database of reporting guidelines for the main study types, including guideline extensions.


PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. It is an evidence-based minimum set of items in reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

The PRISMA 2020 statement replaces the PRISMA 2009 statement, which should no longer be used.


PRISMA Extensions

PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR)

The PRISMA-ScR checklist and explanation was published in 2018. It aims to improve the methodological and reporting quality of the increasingly popular scoping reviews.

PRISMA Extension for Systematic Review Protocols (PRISMA-P)

PRISMA-P was published in 2015 aiming to facilitate the development and reporting of systematic review protocols.

Statement paper:

Several extensions of the PRISMA Statement have been developed to facilitate the reporting of different types or aspects of systematic reviews.


MOOSE stands for Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology. It is a proposed checklist that contains specifications for reporting of meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology, including background, search strategy, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. The use of the checklist should improve the usefulness of meta-analyses for authors, reviewers, editors, readers, and decision makers. 

STROBE checklists for observational studies

Observational research comprises several study designs and many topic areas. The STROBE statement is a checklist of items that should be included in articles reporting observational research. It considers cohort, case-control, cross-sectional studies as well as conference abstracts. 

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