Table 1

Opinions of interviewed editors about elements of originality present or missing in systematic reviews

EditorIs systematic review an original study?Elements of originality present or missing in a systematic review; quotes
E2YesNew idea, analysis of bias, heterogeneity and level of evidence, provided summary and conclusion
E3YesDone with high quality, using PRISMA guidelines
E4YesUseful to improve or inform, either to advance knowledge or to improve and inform new research
E5YesMeta-analysis helps in this respect, for a systematic review to be consider novel
E8YesDifferent look at an old topic, something unique, probably in terms of search, novelty of the question, methods for searching
E11YesMethodology involved in approach to search, careful process of filtering studies, looking at limitations of included studies, approaching a topic that requires some in-depth consideration and involving a thought process in summarizing data, reporting results, discussing them and providing conclusions approach to search strategy, analysis of results, discussion, limitations and making conclusions based on analyses
E12YesFollowing the methodology, searching significant number of databases, they have to explain how they selected study they are going to review, what were the criteria, they have to talk about quality of the evidence, they have to summarize the results, it has to be a significant body of work, an element of quantity or magnitude
E13YesOriginal question that hasn’t been answered before, new search strategy, a new methodology, a reinterpretation of the results
E1Only with meta-analysisOriginal thought
E7Only with meta-analysisSome kind of analysis, it does not have to be meta-analysis; it can be another type of analysis
E15Only with meta-analysisI would consider a systematic review without meta-analysis a semi-quantitative review and therefore not original study
E6NoOriginal research starts with a data source that is in most of nursing a human and systematic reviews have data source that is secondary
E9NoIf you define original research as focused on discovery, then systematic reviews are not original in that sense. It does not have to do anything with methodology, but type of research. Primary studies that offer integration of existing research and synthesis are original research.
E10NoScientific method is different than in what I consider to be original
E14NoIn my opinion, if it does not touch the original data, it is not original