Writing aid

The goal of this initiative is asses the usefulness of reporting guidelines administered as a writing aid, instead of a checklist. The writing aid will propose the items of existing reporting guidelines as a base for the writing of an article presenting scientific findings. The usefulness of the tool was evaluated in an intervention study (published in BMJ Open). When applying the writing aid, relevant sections of the text will be tagged by the author and linked to items of the reporting guideline. The added value is the following:

  • For the authors and co-authors: to visualize how recommended items are described in the text so suggestions can be made accordingly and automatic generation of a checklist table based on the manuscript content;
  • For reviewers/editors, indicate manuscript text fragments that correspond to the reporting items, and obtain a summary of the different reporting items and corresponding page numbers and tagged text. These functions will produce a manuscript with additional information, embedded in the manuscript, that accompany the paper during submission to a journal to facilitate the review process.

The writing aid was developed to accommodate STROBE, STROBE-nut, CONSORT and PRISMA reporting guidelines.

This software is developed as an Add in for MS Word and was tested for application in Windows 7 with Microsoft Word 2013 and Windows 10 with Microsoft Word 2007. We did not develop a version that works on Mac.

IMPORTANT: if you have Mendeley Citation Plugin, you need to deactivate it for the writing aid to work!

NOTE: This is a software developed for research purposes. Bugs may appear. The software is open source. Developers are invited to consult the code on Github and get in touch with us to develop a new version of the application.

License: This add-on is a free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see [here] (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/)

contact: mailto:carl.lachat@ugent.be Authors: Carl Lachat (Project manager, concept), Dana Hawwash (Project manager, concept), Patrick Kolsteren (Concept), Nathalie De Cock (Concept), Chen Yang (Concept), Herwig Jacobs (Programming)