Responsible Epidemiologic Research Practice (RERP)

Last modified: November 21, 2017

A guideline developed by the RERP working group of the Dutch Society for Epidemiology

The working group of the Dutch Society for Epidemiology has taken the initiative to develop a guideline on the conduct of epidemiological research, entitled ‘Responsible Epidemiologic Research Practices (RERP)’. The reasons for drawing up this guideline are the publications on the occurrence of Questionable Research Practices, Research Waste in the Lancet and on improving transparency and accountability in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

The guideline deals with how epidemiological research should be carried out and how the entire process should be documented so that it remains transparent and reproducible even after the end of the study. This does not concern the substantive aspects such as calculating the sample size, which research design is the right one, or for which confounders should be corrected. The guideline covers every step in the research process, from the research idea, through the creation of a research protocol, to the final publication and archiving of the entire study.

The working group organized a pre-conference for the WEON on RERP on 15 June 2016. There was a lot of support and interest in the guideline. The received comments have been processed as much as possible in a new version. The modified version was discussed during the General Board meeting of 9 March 2017 and was also submitted to the members of the Dutch Society for Epidemiology. The RERP guideline was finally adopted on 1 May 2017. You can download the guideline here.

The RERP working group is now committed to the implementation of the guideline. If you would like more information about the guideline, please contact the chairman of the Gerard Swaen working group, via

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