Document Detail

Systematic reviewers commonly contact study authors but do so with limited rigor.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19013767     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: Author contact can enhance the quality of systematic reviews. We conducted a systematic review of the practice of author contact in recently published systematic reviews to characterize its prevalence, quality, and results. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Eligible studies were systematic reviews of efficacy published in 2005-2006 in the 25 journals with the highest impact factor publishing systematic reviews in clinical medicine and the Cochrane Library, identified by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. Two researchers determined whether and why reviewers contacted authors. To assess the accuracy of the abstracted data, we surveyed reviewers by e-mail. RESULTS: Forty-six (50%) of the 93 eligible systematic reviews published in top journals and 46 (85%) of the 54 eligible Cochrane reviews reported contacting authors of eligible studies. Requests were made most commonly for missing information: 40 (76%) clinical medicine reviews and 45 (98%) Cochrane reviews. One hundred and nine of 147 (74%) reviewers responded to the survey, and reported a higher rate of author contact than apparent from the published record. CONCLUSION: Although common, author contact is not a universal feature of systematic reviews published in top journals and the Cochrane Library. The conduct and reporting of author contact purpose, procedures, and results require improvement.
Rebecca J Mullan; David N Flynn; Bo Carlberg; Imad M Tleyjeh; Celia C Kamath; Matthew L LaBella; Patricia J Erwin; Gordon H Guyatt; Victor M Montori
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review     Date:  2008-11-14
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of clinical epidemiology     Volume:  62     ISSN:  1878-5921     ISO Abbreviation:  J Clin Epidemiol     Publication Date:  2009 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-01-09     Completed Date:  2009-04-13     Revised Date:  2009-05-08    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8801383     Medline TA:  J Clin Epidemiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  138-42     Citation Subset:  IM    
Knowledge and Encounter Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Clinical Trials as Topic
Databases, Bibliographic
Editorial Policies
Journal Impact Factor
Peer Review, Research
Periodicals as Topic
Publishing / statistics & numerical data*
Review Literature as Topic*
Treatment Outcome

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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