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Researching ethnicity and health presents significant ethical, conceptual and methodological challenges. Although the potential contribution of research evidence to tackling ethnic inequalities in health is recognised, there are widespread concerns about the ethical and scientific rigour of much of this research, and its potential to do more harm than good. The introduction of guidance documents at critical points in the research cycle, including within the peer-review publication process, might be one way to enhance the quality of such research. This article reports the findings from the piloting of a guidance checklist within an international journal. The checklist was positively received by authors and reviewers, the majority of whom reported it to be comprehensible, relevant and potentially useful for improving the quality of published research. However, the rate of participation in the pilot was poor, suggesting that the impact of such a checklist would be very limited unless it was perceived to be an aid to authors and reviewers, rather than an additional burden, and was strongly promoted by journal editors.
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Author(s): Mark RD Johnson Sarah Salway Ruth Barley Peter Allmark Kate Gerrish Gina Higginbottom George TH Ellison