Include or not?

NEWS | 2016-12-12

New publication about using non-public data in systematic reviews and systematic maps.

Last week, EviEM project manager Neal Haddaway together with colleagues in the UK and Germany published a paper in Environment International where they discuss advantages and disadvantages of including non-public studies in systematic reviews and systematic maps.

Such reviews and maps should be based on the best available evidence, and reviewers should make all reasonable efforts to include potentially relevant studies.But some data and studies may not be publicly available, and the reviewers need to carefully consider whether or not to include those studies.

Including them may provide a valuable opportunity to increase systematic review/map comprehensiveness, but if reviewers do not have permission to publish data from such studies transparency and repeatability are compromised. According to the authors, reviewers need to transparently weigh risks against benefits when deciding whether or not to include non-public data in their systematic reviews and maps, and in the paper they make tentative suggestions for reviewers in situations where non-public data may be present in an evidence base.

To read the paper, click on the link to the right.