Incomplete and inadequate reporting of research hampers the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the studies reported in the medical literature. Readers need to know what was planned (and what was not), what was done, what was found, and what the results mean. Recommendations on the reporting of studies that are endorsed by leading medical journals can improve the quality of reporting.
Observational research comprises several study designs and many topic areas. We aimed to establish a checklist of items that should be included in articles reporting such research - the STROBE Statement. We considered it reasonable to initially restrict the recommendations to the three main analytical designs that are used in observational research: cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies. We want to provide guidance on how to report observational research well. Our recommendations are not prescriptions for designing or conducting studies. Also, the checklist is not an instrument to evaluate the quality of observational research.
The STROBE initiative should be seen as an ongoing process, with future revisions of the recommendations based on comments, critique and new evidence. We welcome translations into other languages and extensions to other observational study designs, for example nested case-control studies, and specific topic areas, for example, genetic and molecular epidemiology.
Note: We ask anyone intending to use the STROBE Statement for further extensions, translations or other STROBE-related work to contact the coordinating group through this website first. This will allow to coordinate efforts and to avoid duplication. The authors of the original STROBE articles hold the copyright. Please, contact us if you wish to re-publish STROBE material in additional journals, books or other media.