Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Editorial Policies Aimed at Improving the Transparency and Validity of Published Research

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Editorial Policies Aimed at Improving the Transparency and Validity of Published Research

Article excerpt

Byline: T. Sathyanarayana Rao, Prathap. Tharyan

Research published in local and national journals, such as the Indian Journal of Psychiatry , is as important as research published in international journals, in order to contextualize the evidence on which healthcare and health policy needs are to be based. [sup][1] However, the quality of research published in local and national journals, particularly those from low and middle-income countries, is often considered inferior to that of research articles published in international journals. [sup][2] If these research findings are used to guide clinical practice, health outcomes may be adversely affected. Editorial policies, and adherence to these policies, determine to a large extent the quality of reporting of research published in journals. [sup][3]

The duties of medical journal editors include, among others, safeguarding the rights of the study participants; establishing policies of submission, review and acceptance of manuscripts; and working towards improving the quality of the conduct and publication of research. [sup][4] These can be aided by the unambiguous endorsement of standards that improve transparency in reporting research and by the provision of clear instructions to authors about what is expected of them. The instructions to authors in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry have therefore been amended to endorse internationally accepted reporting standards that are appropriate for the research design used. Authors of manuscripts are expected to adhere to these instructions when preparing manuscripts for submission in order to increase the chances that their manuscripts will be accepted. These amendments will also aid peer reviewers to readily identify whether the submitted manuscript meets the criteria for transparency in research reporting.

Endorsing the ICMJE Uniform Requirements and use of Design-Specific Reporting Standards

The Indian Journal of Psychiatry continues to endorse the submission of manuscripts in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE); [sup][5] the web-link to the ICMJE requirements has now been provided to enable authors to access the requirements in their entirety. The Uniform Requirements endorse design-specific reporting standards, and the revised instructions to authors now provide links to the appropriate guidance for interventional observational studies, and qualitative research, and for reports comparing the accuracy of diagnostic tests.

Consort 2010

Authors of randomized clinical trials are now required not only to prepare and submit their manuscripts in accordance with the CONSORT 2010 statement, [sup][6],[7] but also to use the appropriate extensions of the CONSORT statement for trial designs that differ from the standard parallel-group trial or that use herbal interventions, and on reporting harms. [sup][8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13] Authors are also expected to submit, along with the manuscript, the CONSORT checklist and participant flow diagram. The web-links to templates for both that can be downloaded and appropriately modified have also been provided. The former will not be published with the trial report but will aid effective peer review by stating exactly where in the manuscript the required CONSORT element can be found. The latter will be published and will provide information that will aid interpretation of the generalizability of the results by disclosing details of those excluded from the trial so that the reader can evaluate the proportions excluded, particularly for not fulfilling inclusion criteria. It will also disclose the proportions in each trial arm that completed the various stages of the trial, thus making it possible to evaluate if the analysis of the results was complete.


Most research published in this journal are observational in nature and authors are required to follow the guidance provided in the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement for reporting observational studies, typically cross-sectional studies, case-control studies and cohort studies. …

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