Endorsement of the CONSORT statement by Chinese journals of Traditional Chinese Medicine: a survey of journal editors and review of journals’ instructions for authors

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BackgroundWe aimed to assess the endorsement of the Consolidation Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement by Chinese journals of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and its incorporation into their editorial processes.MethodsPubMed, Embase and major Chinese databases were searched to identify journals of TCM from China for inclusion. The latest ‘instruction for authors’ (IFA) of each included journal was obtained and any text mentioning CONSORT or CONSORT extension papers was extracted. Subsequently, the editor of each of the included journals was surveyed about their journal's endorsement of the CONSORT recommendations and their incorporation into editorial and peer review processes.ResultsSixty-three journals of TCM from China were examined. Of these, only three (5%) and one (2%) of the 63 journals mentioned the CONSORT statement and extension papers, respectively, in their IFA. Fifty-four of 63 (86%) of surveyed journals responded, with the majority of respondents being editors. Only 20% (11/54) of the respondents reported that they had any knowledge of the CONSORT statement. Only 6% (3/54) of the editors reported that they required authors to comply with the CONSORT statement or that they incorporated it into their peer review and editorial processes.ConclusionsTCM journals in China endorsing the CONSORT statement constituted a small percentage of the total. The majority of editors surveyed were not familiar with the content of the CONSORT statement and extension papers. We strongly recommend that the China Periodicals Association issue a policy to promote the endorsement of the CONSORT statement and conduct relevant training for journal editors in China.

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