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Journal Information
Vol. 9. Issue 1.
Pages 63-64 (January - March 2016)
Vol. 9. Issue 1.
Pages 63-64 (January - March 2016)
Letter to the Editor
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Declaration of transparency: A step towards complete reporting of research articles
Declaración de transparencia: un paso hacia la presentación completa de artículos de investigación
Ferran Catalá-Lópeza,b,c, Brian Huttond,e, Matthew J. Pagef,g, Eduard Vietac,h, Rafael Tabarés-Seisdedosc,i, David Moherd,e,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
a División de Farmacoepidemiología y Farmacovigilancia, Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios (AEMPS), Madrid, Spain
b Fundación Instituto de Investigación en Servicios de Salud, Valencia, Spain
c Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en el Área de Salud Mental (Cibersam), Madrid, Spain
d Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada
e School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
f Australasian Cochrane Centre, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
g School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
h Hospital Clínic, Universitat de Barcelona, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain
i Departamento de Medicina, Universitat de València, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Valencia (INCLIVA), Valencia, Spain
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Box. “Proposal of transparency declaration”.
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To the Editor:

Reporting of methods and results of medical research articles is often inadequate or incomplete. Bad reporting can be due to authors being vague about what they did and found. Inadequate and incomplete reporting prevents the use of such reports in health care decision-making (for example, by clinicians wishing to implement the most effective interventions and programs), and also results in considerable waste of resources used to conduct the research.1 Systematic reviews of the reporting quality of published articles have found common deficiencies in almost every aspect of a study report.2–4

The research community urgently need to implement changes to the reporting of research articles, especially those presenting randomised trials and systematic reviews, which inform clinical decision-making and are important to clinicians, scientists and policy makers. Reporting guidelines, such as CONSORT for randomised trials [http://www.consort-statement.org/], STROBE for observational studies [http://www.strobe-statement.org/] or PRISMA for systematic reviews and meta-analyses [http://www.prisma-statement.org/], can help authors provide a complete and transparent description of how they conducted their study and what they found. Published research has demonstrated that endorsement and implementation of reporting guidelines has improved the quality of reporting of several important aspects of research articles.4

More serious than incomplete reporting (which sometimes occurs unintentionally or due to journal space constraints) are deliberate efforts to manipulate the reporting of trial methods and results. Failure to publish entire studies (usually those that are statistically negative or inconclusive) and selective reporting of the most favourable results within published reports, can produce a biased picture of the complete evidence. A prominent number of systematic reviews of the literature on psychiatry and neuroscience research suggest that publication and other reporting biases are prevalent across diverse domains.5–8 Furthermore, authors often distort the views and interpretation of their findings in the presence of financial conflicts of interest and ethical issues.9,10 Although the presence of potential conflicts of interest is not necessarily an indication of biased reporting of studies, authors often fail to disclose such information which is unacceptable.9,11

To help overcome some of these reporting deficiencies, some of us recently suggested journals could take immediate action by asking authors to sign a “declaration of transparency” as part of the submission process.11 Medical journals have taken steps to respond to this “call to action”.11–14 With the idea to continue with their transparency and reporting efforts, we would like to encourage the journal editors of Revista de Psiquiatría y Salud Mental to consider endorsing and implementing the “declaration of transparency”. In particular, journal editors can support this initiative by revising their instructions to authors so that a completed publication transparency declaration is required as part of the submission process [BOX, see proposal for authors submitting manuscripts]. This action can be seen as complementary to the current practice of asking authors to disclose conflicts of interest and will encourage authors to reflect more carefully on how they write their research article and to check that they have adhered to relevant reporting guidelines. We also invite other journals in the field of clinical psychiatry and mental health to support and join the initiative through the EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) network [http://www.equator-network.org/].


“Proposal of transparency declaration”.

Transparency declaration: 
The lead authora affirms that this manuscript submitted to Revista de Psiquiatría y Salud Mental is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained. 

The manuscript's guarantor.

In the era of open science and transparency, with randomised trials and systematic reviews having critical impact on clinical practice, changes are needed to improve complete and clear reporting of research articles. Clinical practice deserves an accurate and transparent reporting of scientific research. It is our conviction that endorsing and implementing the “transparency declaration” is one way to help scientific research reaches its full potential.



Conflict of interests

None of the authors have a conflict of interests regarding this report. DM is one of the developers of the Declaración de Transparencia (Transparency Statement). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and must not be understood or stated that they are made in the name of, or reflects, the position of an institution.

P. Glasziou, D.G. Altman, P. Bossuyt, I. Boutron, M. Clarke, S. Julious, et al.
Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research.
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The quality of reports of randomised trials in 2000 and 2006: comparative study of articles indexed in PubMed.
Br Med J, 340 (2010), pp. c723
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Epidemiology and reporting characteristics of systematic reviews.
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Does use of the CONSORT Statement impact the completeness of reporting of randomised controlled trials published in medical journals? A Cochrane review.
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Selective publication of antidepressant trials and its influence on apparent efficacy.
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Neuroinformatics, 10 (2012), pp. 67-80
J.I. Escobar.
Los psiquiatras y la industria farmacéutica: un tema de actualidad en los Estados Unidos.
Rev Psiquiatr Salud Ment, 2 (2009), pp. 147-149
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Psychiatry: from interest in conflicts to conflicts of interest.
World Psychiatry, 6 (2007), pp. 27-29
F. Lolas-Stepke.
Trends and clinical need of ethical principles.
Rev Psiquiatr Salud Ment, 8 (2015), pp. 1-2
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The EQUATOR Network. Declaration of transparency. Available in: http://www.equator-network.org/2013/10/24/declaration-of-transparency/ [consulted 26.09.15].
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Declaración de transparencia: promoviendo una publicación más completa, honesta y adecuada de los artículos científicos.
Rev Esp Salud Publ, 88 (2014), pp. 181-186

Please cite this article as: Catalá-López F, Hutton B, Page MJ, Vieta E, Tabarés-Seisdedos R, Moher D. Declaración de transparencia: un paso hacia la presentación completa de artículos de investigación. Rev Psiquiatr Salud Ment (Barc.). 2016;9:63–64.

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