Background: Authors of systematic reviews (SRs) have learned to indicate they follow the PRISMA reporting guidelines although many are not transparent nor clear in their reporting. New researchers, and especially student researchers, attempt to complete systematic reviews with little idea of the methodology, how to describe aims, or how to select dependent/independent variables. Faculty are often not able to advise them appropriately.
Objectives: The goal of this presentation is to describe and demonstrate multiple ways a wide variety of health research reporting guidelines can be incorporated into both the instructional and advising setting to assist researchers in developing coherent and transparent systematic reviews.
Methods: Faculty and students have been provided instruction on, and tools to assist with, using reporting guidelines to develop the SR protocol, data extraction forms, and evidence tables.
Results: While anecdotal, students have reported a better understanding of the SR process by walking through the protocol document. Data extraction form development has been simplified, and the tool for creating evidence tables aids in the visualization of study data.
Conclusions: Health research reporting guidelines should be incorporated throughout the research process, not saved until it is time to write the final draft.