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01.12.2017 | Commentary | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Systematic Reviews 1/2017

The influence of the team in conducting a systematic review

Systematic Reviews > Ausgabe 1/2017
Lesley Uttley, Paul Montgomery


There is an increasing body of research documenting flaws in many published systematic reviews’ methodological and reporting conduct. When good systematic review practice is questioned, attention is rarely turned to the composition of the team that conducted the systematic review. This commentary highlights a number of relevant articles indicating how the composition of the review team could jeopardise the integrity of the systematic review study and its conclusions. Key biases require closer attention such as sponsorship bias and researcher allegiance, but there may also be less obvious affiliations in teams conducting secondary evidence-syntheses. The importance of transparency and disclosure are now firmly on the agenda for clinical trials and primary research, but the meta-biases that systematic reviews may be at risk from now require further scrutiny.
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