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01.12.2018 | Commentary | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Trials 1/2018

Are CONSORT checklists submitted by authors adequately reflecting what information is actually reported in published papers?

Trials > Ausgabe 1/2018
David Blanco, Alice M. Biggane, Erik Cobo, MiRoR network
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13063-018-2475-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Compulsory submission of a checklist from the relevant reporting guideline is one of the most widespread journal requirements aiming to improve completeness of reporting. However, the current suboptimal levels of adherence to reporting guidelines observed in the literature may indicate that this journal policy is not having a significant effect.


We explored whether authors provided the appropriate CONSORT checklist extension for their study and whether there were inconsistencies between what authors claimed on the submitted checklist and what was actually reported in the published paper. We randomly selected 12 randomized trials from three journals that provide the originally submitted checklist and analyzed six core CONSORT items. Only one paper used the appropriate checklist extension and had no inconsistencies between what was claimed in the submitted checklist and what was reported in the published paper.


Journals should take further actions to take full advantage of the requirement for the submission of fulfilled CONSORT checklists, thus ensuring that these checklists reflect what is reported in the manuscript.
Additional file 1: Search strategy, study selection and analysis of inconsistencies. (DOCX 15 kb)
Additional file 2: Summary of evaluations. (XLSX 77 kb)
Additional file 3: Examples of inconsistencies. (DOCX 15 kb)
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