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BMC Health Services Research

, 3:2

First Online: 17 January 2003Received: 21 August 2002Accepted: 17 January 2003DOI: 10.1186-1472-6963-3-2

Cite this article as: Piehl, J.H., Green, S. & McDonald, S. BMC Health Serv Res 2003 3: 2. doi:10.1186-1472-6963-3-2

Abstract

BackgroundDespite the growing reputation and subject coverage of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, many systematic reviews continue to be published solely in paper-based health care journals. This study was designed to determine why authors choose to publish their systematic reviews outside of the Cochrane Collaboration and if they might be interested in converting their reviews to Cochrane format for publication in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

MethodsCross-sectional survey of Australian primary authors of systematic reviews not published on the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews identified from the Database of

Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness.

ResultsWe identified 88 systematic reviews from the Database of

Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness with an Australian as the primary author. We surveyed 52 authors for whom valid contact information was available. The response rate was 88 per cent 46-52. Ten authors replied without completing the survey, leaving 36 valid surveys for analysis. The most frequently cited reasons for not undertaking a Cochrane review were: lack of time 78%, the need to undergo specific Cochrane training 46%, unwillingness to update reviews 36%, difficulties with the Cochrane process 26% and the review topic already registered with the Cochrane Collaboration 21%. Percentages based on completed responses to individual questions. Nearly half the respondents would consider converting their review to Cochrane format. Dedicated time emerged as the most important factor in facilitating the potential conversion process. Other factors included navigating the Cochrane system, assistance with updating and financial support. Eighty-six per cent were willing to have their review converted to Cochrane format by another author.

ConclusionTime required to complete a Cochrane review and the need for specific training are the primary reasons why some authors publish systematic reviews outside of the Cochrane Collaboration. Encouragingly, almost half of the authors would consider converting their review to Cochrane format. Based on the current number of reviews in the Database of

Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, this could result in more than 700 additional Cochrane reviews. Ways of supporting these authors and how to provide dedicated time to convert systematic reviews needs further consideration.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6963-3-2 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Janet H Piehl - Sally Green - Steve McDonald

Source: https://link.springer.com/







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