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Table 4 Examples of what seven major reporting guidelines state about the need to mention limitations

From: Impact of peer review on discussion of study limitations and strength of claims in randomized trial reports: a before and after study

Reporting guideline Suggestions pertaining to self-acknowledgment of limitations
CONSORT Trial limitations, addressing sources of potential bias, imprecision, and, if relevant, multiplicity of analyses; generalizability (external validity, applicability) of the trial findings; interpretation consistent with results, balancing benefits and harms, and considering other relevant evidence
CONSORT 2010 statement: extension to randomized pilot and feasibility trials Pilot trial limitations, addressing sources of potential bias and remaining uncertainty about feasibility; generalizability (applicability) of pilot trial methods and findings to future definitive trial and other studies; interpretation consistent with pilot trial objectives and findings, balancing potential benefits and harms, and considering other relevant evidence. Implications for progression from pilot to future definitive trial, including any proposed amendments
Reporting of stepped wedge cluster randomized trials Trial limitations, addressing sources of potential bias, imprecision, and, if relevant, multiplicity of analyses; generalizability (external validity, applicability) of the trial findings. Generalizability to clusters or individual participants, or both (as relevant); interpretation consistent with results, balancing benefits and harms, and considering other relevant evidence.
CONSORT extension for reporting N-of-1 trials (CENT) 2015 Statement Trial limitations, addressing sources of potential bias, imprecision, and, if relevant, multiplicity of analyses; generalizability (external validity, applicability) of the trial findings; interpretation consistent with results, balancing benefits and harms, and considering other relevant evidence
PRISMA Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Discuss limitations at study and outcome level (e.g., risk of bias), and at review-level (e.g., incomplete retrieval of identified research, reporting bias); provide a general interpretation of the results in the context of other evidence, and implications for future research
The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Statement Discuss limitations of the study, taking into account sources of potential bias or imprecision; discuss both direction and magnitude of any potential bias; interpretation gives a cautious overall interpretation of results considering objectives, limitations, multiplicity of analyses, results from similar studies, and other relevant evidence. Discuss the generalizability (external validity) of the study results
TRIPOD: Transparent reporting of a multivariable prediction model for individual prognosis or diagnosis Discuss any limitations of the study (such as non-representative sample, few events per predictor, missing data); interpretation: for validation, discuss the results with reference to performance in the development data and any other validation data. Give an overall interpretation of the results, considering objectives, limitations, results from similar studies, and other relevant evidence
  1. Text was abstracted via http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/consort-cent/, which was accessed on 12 June 2019