Study Design Guidelines

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Complying with certain requirements or, more precisely, following the guidelines for the design of a scientific publication helps to make it not only more comprehensible for reviewers and readers, but actually enhances the quality of work. For example, even if some aspects in design logic were fulfilled but not described, other researchers doing meta-analysis may wrongly but for a good reason downgrade such publication and exclude it from the analysis. Understanding of the guidelines for study design ensures not only the proper description of the results but the initial planning of work. The CA RE guidelines were established for reporting of clinical cases, STROBE — for reporting observational studies (cohort and case-control studies), CO NSORT — for reporting randomized studies (these guidelines are often used also for other comparative and case series studies), STARD — for reporting diagnostic studies, and PRISMA — for reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The present paper describes the key aspects of those guidelines and provides templates for graphic display of study design in form of flow charts. Evidently, we should not forget that each study is unique and there is always a place for a reasonable compromise between “requirements” and the real logic of the research in place.

About the authors

A. P. Sereda

Federal Medical and Biological Agency

Author for correspondence.

Dr. Sci. (Med.), Deputy Head


Russian Federation

M. A. Andrianova

Federal Medical and Biological Agency


Cand. Sci. (Tech.), Consultant, Department of Health and Industrial Medicine


Russian Federation


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