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SCRIBE refers to single-case reporting guideline in behavioural interventions. SCRIBE 2016 is a reporting guideline that provides authors of single-case research with a tool that specifies which information about their study is essential in their published report.
Numerous reporting guidelines are available and are accessible via equator-network.org. The key purpose of all guidelines is to improve scientific literature through clear, complete, and transparent reporting of how studies were conducted.
The SCRIBE 2016 guideline contains a set of items, each covering important aspects relevant specifically for single-case research designs, which authors may wish to consider and address in their report. The items reflect a minimum standard of reporting and were derived during an extensive consensus procedure, involving international experts in the field of single-case research.
SCRIBE 2016 Checklist (pdf, 28KB) in conjunction with the accompanying SCRIBE 2016 Explanation and Elaboration document, can assist authors in writing research reports that are clear, complete and transparent.
Publications that describe a study involving a single participant appear frequently in the literature of many fields within the behavioural sciences. The SCRIBE 2016 provides authors, readers and reviewers of single case design studies that are published in scientific journals a tool to maximise clarity, transparency and completeness of such reports:
The SCRIBE 2016 Statement paper introduces the SCRIBE 2016 Checklist (pdf, 28KB). It describes the methodology that the SCRIBE project used in the development of the checklist. The Statement paper was co-published in 10 journals to facilitate the wide dissemination of the SCRIBE 2016 across the behavioural sciences.
Below is a list of these co-publishing journals. Click on any of these to access the Statement paper.
Tate, R L, M Perdices, U Rosenkoetter, W Shadish, S Vohra, D H Barlow, R Horner, A Kazdin, T Kratochwill, S McDonald, M Sampson, L Shamseer, L Togher, R Albin, C Backman, J Douglas, JJ Evans, D Gast, R Manolov, G Mitchell, L Nickels, J Nikles, T Ownsworth, M Rose, C H Schmid and B Wilson (2016). The SCRIBE 2016 Statement.
In the Explanation and Elaboration (E&E) publication, the content of the SCRIBE 2016 checklist is described in detail. For each checklist item, a rationale for inclusion of the item in the checklist is provided, and its importance for scientific reports of single case studies is elaborated. The items are also accompanied by examples of adequate reporting found in the literature.
The E&E should be used in conjunction with the SCRIBE 2016 Checklist (pdf, 28KB). This will assist in ensuring that all crucial information about a study is covered adequately when writing up single case research for publication.
Tate, R L, M Perdices, U Rosenkoetter, S McDonald, L Togher, W Shadish, R Horner, T Kratochwill, D H Barlow, A Kazdin, M Sampson, L Shamseer and S Vohra, for the SCRIBE Group (2016). The SCRIBE 2016: Explanation and elaboration, Archives of Scientific Psychology, 4(1):1
In 2009, a group of experts in the field of medical N-of-1 research met to find consensus on minimum reporting standards for intervention research designs involving a single patient. This effort resulted in the development of the CONSORT extension for N-of-1 trials (CENT 2015).
In that CENT meeting, a need for reporting guidelines for single case research designs used in the behavioural sciences was identified.
With the support of the CENT group, a Sydney-based working party embarked on the journey to develop reporting guidelines that specifically relate to the reporting of single-case experimental designs in the fields of clinical psychology, special education, neuropsychology, sport psychology, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, social work, and other related disciplines. The development process was conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in Moher 2010. For details, please read the SCRIBE 2016 statement from one of the above links.
A 13-person Steering Committee was established, and a Sydney working party commenced the coordinating activities that were to follow.
In 2011, a Delphi survey was conducted with the aim to identify items which reflect the most important aspects of a single-case research report. Methodologists and content experts provided their opinions about the importance of each potential checklist item included in the Delphi survey. The items referred to different aspects contained in a single-subject research report, including the title and abstract, the introduction, the methods utilised, the outcomes of the study, and the discussion of findings.
The information provided during the Delphi exercise formed the basis for discussion during a consensus conference in Sydney in December 2011. At the consensus conference, items were refined and/or amalgamated in accordance with the Delphi results. At the end of the process, a final 26-item checklist was endorsed by the conference attendees.
The SCRIBE group of authors then produced the SCRIBE 2016 Statement and the Explanation and Elaboration (E&E) documents to accompany the Checklist items, with further input from the Steering Committee members.
The Editors of Archives of Scientific Psychology agreed to take on a co-ordinating role for the co-publication process, thus ensuring the wide dissemination of the SCRIBE 2016 across various disciplines within the behavioural sciences.
The Steering Committee comprises the Sydney executive and international experts in single case research and reporting guideline development.
The SCRIBE 2016 Project was funded by Lifetime Care, New South Wales, Australia. We thank Lifetime Care for the generous support.
We also thank the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research (JWCRR), formerly the Rehabilitation Studies Unit, University of Sydney, for the infrastructure support provided for this project.
We provide support to our researchers through funding opportunities, publications collection, academic profile creation, access to Research Supervisor Connect, as well as forums and workshops.
We also provide dedicated support to the development of early career researchers (ECRs) who have been awarded their PhD in the last ten years. We aim to provide opportunities for these researchers to engage with fellow ECRs through networking and conference events; notification of ECR-targeted research and travel grant schemes and research development workshops; as well as tailored career advice.