Table 3

Additional comments of editors regarding systematic reviews

EditorIs systematic review an original study?Additional comment
E1Only with meta-analysisI feel like we are in an evolution, you know. Even though it has been ten years since your first study, I do not think that people necessarily understand what a systematic review is… We do require systematic review authors to do a research checklist, we do require protocol registration, but we are not rigid about it, we don’t actually check if they did. We do not actually check if they followed it, which would be ideal to do, but that would just take a lot of people to do that, and we do not have resources for that.
E2YesEditor who looks seriously at their impact factor will love to publish meta-analysis and systematic reviews that are good.
E3Yes…there are too many systematic reviews being submitted, and that is because it’s easy, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home or office, you can collect data and write your manuscript. So the quality is not very good because the motivation is wrong. The motivation is to become published, the motivation is not to influence care.
E4YesWell, as an editor, I find it difficult to find a balance between quality and useful message from a submitted systematic review.
E6No… I publish systematic reviews, I am a fan of systematic reviews. And I think they do more to move knowledge then a lot of original research does, because it takes the whole body of original research in that area and it elevates it.
E10NoI think systematic reviews are scholarship. Boyer in 1990 or 1999 defined four different types of scholarship; original research is one, and synthesis is another. And I think it is incredibly important in terms of scholarship and academic advancement.
Systematic reviews are maybe routinized in the way they are done, or the way data is collected, but they are hard to do a good one.
E14NoPeople do systematic reviews because they have to build the CV and they don’t have access to their own data, or they are not able to generate their own data. And we see this coming from various parts of the world, where we know that investigative resources are thin. And there is considerable confusion in the scientific and clinical communities about what a systematic review is and how much significance should be attached to it.