Table 2

Final BRIDGE checklist

# Standard 1. Study preparation: carefully prepare the study, in partnership with local researchers, by taking into account existing knowledge and resources and engaging with key stakeholders
1.1Plan and execute research in partnership with local researchers. When working in a setting where relevant epidemiological competences are limited or not available, consider what is in the study team’s remit to strengthen local capacity
1.2Identify and engage key stakeholders throughout the study with approaches based on their needs, competences and expectations. Key stakeholders include representatives of affected populations and end-users of research
1.3Establish the knowledge gap by searching the literature (peer-reviewed publications and grey literature) as well as by consulting (local) experts, representatives of affected populations and end-users
1.4Develop research questions and objectives in consultation with research partners and expected end-users
1.5Select study design and research methods to best fulfil the study objectives and give due consideration to multidisciplinary approaches
1.6Before embarking on primary data collection, assess whether existing data could be used, fully or partly, to fulfil the research objectives
1.7Ensure data ownership and publication agreements have been agreed by all research partners
1.8Agree on work plans and governance structures with all study partners. Allocate adequate time, financial and human resources to all phases of the study
# Standard 2. Protocol development: prepare a detailed research protocol and ensure it has been approved by relevant ethical review boards if it includes research concerning human participants
2.1Prepare a detailed research protocol in consultation with all research partners
2.2Write a clear and comprehensive analysis section
2.3Consider studying the effect of locally relevant equity dimensions
2.4When conducting multidisciplinary research, describe the purpose and strategies to integrate different analytical methods in the protocol
2.5Strive to make study protocols publicly available, either on a publicly accessible website or in appropriate study registers
2.6For all data collection and data use concerning human subjects, obtain ethical approval (or a waiver) ideally from all institutions and countries involved in the protocol. In case of multiple review and disagreement, the review of the country where the data are collected should take precedence
2.7When working in a setting without ethical review boards or review boards with limited epidemiological capacity, consider what is in the study team’s remit to strengthen their epidemiological capacity
2.8Explicitly state any open data access in the protocol submitted for ethical review and in the informed consent documents
# Standard 3. Data collection: use valid and reliable instruments and reproducible methods while ensuring culturally appropriate procedures
3.1Use valid and reliable research instruments
3.2Ensure that research instruments are locally adapted and culturally appropriate
3.3Provide concrete guidance for data collection in a document that is available to all data collection staff
3.4Select data collection staff according to technical as well as cultural criteria. Clarify the roles and responsibilities for each person involved and provide adequate training and support
3.5Pilot-test and, if possible, field-test all research instruments prior to the start of effective data collection
3.6Collect data a respectful and safe manner and in an environment which safeguards the confidentiality of respondents
3.7Put in place quality assurance and control mechanisms to ensure data accuracy, completeness and coherence
# Standard 4. Data management: manage data with reproducible procedures and ensure compliance with relevant data protection rules
4.1Put in place data management procedures before effective start of data collection and provide concrete guidance in a document available to all data management staff
4.2Create and pretest a data entry application prior to effect start of data collection
4.3Describe all variables in a codebook and consider preparing additional metadata documentation
4.4Put in place quality assurance and control mechanisms to ensure data accuracy, completeness and coherence
4.5Annotate all data cleaning and processing steps and strive for reproducibility by means of stored programming code
4.6For each data file define levels of anonymisation and privacy protection as well as corresponding access rights in line with national and international frameworks
4.7At the beginning of the study, prepare an electronic secured study file to store all study documentation and outputs. Regularly update this file and archive it the end of the study
4.8Retain source data safely, in their original form, preserving data confidentiality for as long as has been described in the protocol
# Standard 5. Data analyses: analyse data according to the protocol and integrate statistical analyses with approaches from other disciplines in the study
5.1Only work with personal identifiers that are necessary to answer the research questions
5.2Conduct statistical analyses in accordance with the protocol and distinguish preplanned from exploratory analyses
5.3Fully annotate all analysis steps and strive for reproducibility by means of programming code
5.4In multidisciplinary studies, integrate statistical analyses with analyses from other study disciplines in an iterative process to coherently address the research objectives
5.5Put in place quality assurance and quality control mechanisms to ensure that data has been correctly analysed
# Standard 6. Dissemination and communication: report and disseminate results, preferably in the public domain, with means of communication which appropriately target key stakeholders
6.1Develop user-specific dissemination and communication plans in consultation with key stakeholders (representatives of the affected populations and end-users)
6.2Report data in a non-stigmatising, non-discriminatory, culturally sensitive and non-identifying manner
6.3Conform to reporting guidelines for the given study design and methods in academic publications
6.4Put in place quality assurance and quality control mechanisms to ensure complete, accurate, accessible and interpretable data reporting
6.5Consider indexed open access journals for scientific publications
6.6On study completion, consider publication of the archive in an openly accessible online repository. Consult key stakeholders and research partners to identify strategies within the study team’s remit to encourage as much as possible reanalyses by local researchers