What are research reporting guidelines?

Across science and health care, there is a growing appreciation of the need to improve how we report research. Medical specialties and biomedical disciplines have developed guidelines and checklists to help investigators and authors report their research more effectively and efficiently. Reporting guidelines help assure that reports include the essential information needed to:

  • Assess and apply research findings,
  • Review and synthesize results,
  • Implement interventions in practice, education, and policy.

Reporting guidelines also help reduce research waste and help speed the application of new evidence.

Do we need another research reporting putting guideline?

The Equator Network has cataloged over 450 published research reporting guidelines, but not one focuses on the needs of primary care researchers, practitioners, and patients. Our CRISP research has documented that primary care researchers, practitioners, and other users face difficulties applying published research to their work. Current reporting practices and published guidelines have not met the needs of primary care.

Do we need a research reporting guideline specifically for primary care?

Primary care is a distinct medical and scientific discipline with its own perspectives and methods to address the problems, patients, professionals, and processes in primary care settings. Evidence derived by other experts in other settings is helpful but not adequate to meet the needs of primary care. Our CRISP studies find that key elements of the clinical methods and scientific perspectives of primary care are not adequately addressed by existing reporting guidelines. We believe primary care experts should assess their own needs and develop their own guidelines for reporting the studies they do and the research they need.

Won’t existing reporting guidelines meet the needs of primary care?

Primary care research uses the full array of scientific methods. It embraces such a broad spectrum of topics that currently available reporting guidelines do not address the needs of primary care.

Can’t we need meet primary care needs by developing extensions to existing reporting guidelines?Many existing reporting guidelines have been augmented by extensions to focus on specific research processes or topics. Primary care researchers, however, use such a variety of methods that it would be impractical to add primary care extensions to all relevant existing guidelines.

What is the CRISP working definition of primary care?

Taking a broad, inclusive view, CRISP defines primary care research as scientific inquiry done by primary care, about primary care, or in primary care. It includes work done by primary care investigators on relevant topics. It also includes work done by experts from other fields working in primary care settings or on topics they expect to be implemented in primary care. We hope that CRISP guidelines can help a wide variety of researchers report their work in ways most useful for application in primary care.

Is CRISP registered with the EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines?

CRISP is registered with the EQUATOR Network as a reporting guideline under development.

Will CRISP guidelines be required for research reports?

The CRISP Checklist is a tool to help investigators, authors, reviewers, and editors craft effective research reports for use in primary care. CRISP does not establish requirements. Journals, institutions, organizations, and funding agencies may choose to encourage the use of the CRISP Checklist.

What are the uses of CRISP guidelines?

The CRISP checklist was developed through an explicit research protocol that engaged the producers and users of primary care research to identify the consensus list of reporting elements needed for primary care research.

CRISP tools can also be valuable when applied to:

  • Teaching research methods,
  • Planning, studies,
  • Evaluating research proposals
  • Implementation study findings.

What expertise is represented in the CRISP initiative?

Research reporting guidelines have traditionally been developed by small groups of highly selected experts on a particular methodology. Similarly, CRISP engaged expertise from around the world and across relevant fields. The CRISP view of necessary expertise, however, includes a broad representation of those who create, use, apply, and can benefit from primary care research. This included practitioners, clinicians, patients, community members, educators, and policymakers.

Where can I learn more about CRISP and the reporting of primary care research?

Thank you for your interest in CRISP. For more information, please see our list of presentations and publications. Subscribe to updates on this website to follow current developments. For more information or to learn how to get involved in the CRISP initiative, please contact the Working Group Co-Conveners.