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The RECORD reporting guidelines: meeting the methodological and ethical demands of transparency in research using routinely-collected health data

Authors Nicholls SG, Langan SM, Sørensen HT, Petersen I, Benchimol EI

Received 13 April 2016

Accepted for publication 17 May 2016

Published 19 October 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 389—392


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Vera Ehrenstein

Stuart G Nicholls,1,2 Sinead M Langan,3 Henrik Toft Sørensen,4 Irene Petersen,4,5 Eric I Benchimol1,6

1Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute, 2School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 3London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK; 4Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; 5Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London, London, UK; 6Department of Pediatrics and School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Abstract: Routinely-collected health data (RCD) are now used for a wide range of studies, including observational studies, comparative effectiveness research, diagnostics, studies of adverse effects, and predictive analytics. At the same time, limitations inherent in using data collected without specific a priori research questions are increasingly recognized. There is also a growing awareness of the suboptimal quality of reports presenting research based on RCD. This has created a perfect storm of increased interest and use of RCD for research, together with inadequate reporting of the strengths and weaknesses of these data resources. The REporting of studies Conducted using Observational Routinely-collected Data (RECORD) statement was developed to address these limitations and to help researchers using RCD to meet their ethical obligations of complete and accurate reporting, as well as improve the utility of research conducted using RCD. The RECORD statement has been endorsed by more than 15 journals, including Clinical Epidemiology. This journal now recommends that authors submit the RECORD checklist together with any manuscript reporting on research using RCD.

Keywords: observational studies, standards, research waste, assessment, publication

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