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Transparency in Reporting Observational Studies: Reflections after a Year

In August 2014, the PLOS Medicine editors announced new standards for reporting observational studies (including cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional designs) in the journal.

These standards involved requiring the appropriate STROBE (or STARD) checklist, requesting a prior analysis plan, and asking authors to explain any differences between what had been planned and what was done. We also emphasized sharing of underlying data as required by the PLOS-wide data policy.

In this month's editorial, we take stock of changes in the reporting of observational studies that have appeared in PLOS Medicine since that time.

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