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Data collection, quality, and reporting

Section edited by Roberta Scherer

This section considers manuscripts that assess quality aspects of data collected in all types of medical research studies, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses, along with how the data are reported in published form.

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  1. Content type: Research article

    Research waste is estimated to be very common, but assessments of its prevalence and scope are rare. As an example, we assessed research waste in clinical research on calcium intake (assessing study design and...

    Authors: Mark J. Bolland, Alison Avenell and Andrew Grey

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:103

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  2. Content type: Research article

    Research waste can occur when trials are conducted in the wrong populations. Vitamin D deficient populations are most likely to benefit from vitamin D supplementation. We investigated waste attributable to ran...

    Authors: Mark J. Bolland, Andrew Grey and Alison Avenell

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:101

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  3. Content type: Research article

    We are witnessing an exponential increase in the number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reported from mainland China. The increase is particularly notable in the field of new generation antidepressants ...

    Authors: Zheng Tong, Fangzhou Li, Yusuke Ogawa, Norio Watanabe and Toshi A. Furukawa

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:96

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  4. Content type: Research article

    The objective of this study was to compare three data collection methods for the measurement of parent experiences with hospital outpatient care for child and adolescent diabetes, based on a randomised nationa...

    Authors: Oyvind Bjertnaes, Hilde Hestad Iversen and Torild Skrivarhaug

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:95

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  5. Content type: Research article

    Financial rewards have been shown to be an important motivator to include normal healthy volunteers in trials. Less emphasis has been put on non-healthy volunteers. No previous study has investigated the impac...

    Authors: Dawid Pieper, Nina Kotte and Peggy Ober

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:86

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  6. Content type: Debate

    Systematic literature searching is recognised as a critical component of the systematic review process. It involves a systematic search for studies and aims for a transparent report of study identification, le...

    Authors: Chris Cooper, Andrew Booth, Jo Varley-Campbell, Nicky Britten and Ruth Garside

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:85

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  7. Content type: Research article

    The lack of suitable and reliable scales to measure self-reported health and health behaviour among people with intellectual disabilities (ID) is an important methodological challenge in health research. This ...

    Authors: Kristel Vlot-van Anrooij, Hilde Tobi, Thessa I. M. Hilgenkamp, Geraline L. Leusink and Jenneken Naaldenberg

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:80

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  8. Content type: Research article

    Records pertaining to individuals whose identity cannot be verified with legal documentation may contain errors, or be incorrect by intention of the individual. Probabilistic data linkage, especially in vulner...

    Authors: Holly Tibble, Hsei Di Law, Matthew J. Spittal, Rosemary Karmel, Rohan Borschmann, Katie Hail-Jares, Laura A. Thomas and Stuart A. Kinner

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:76

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  9. Content type: Research article

    Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is a common condition with many unmet clinical needs. Pooled analysis of studies is an important tool for advancing medical understanding. This process starts with a syst...

    Authors: Benjamin M. Davies, Samuel Goh, Keonwoo Yi, Isla Kuhn and Mark R. N. Kotter

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:73

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  10. Content type: Research article

    Limited translational success in critical care medicine is thought to be in part due to inadequate methodology, study design, and reporting in preclinical studies. The purpose of this study was to compare repo...

    Authors: Justin S. Merkow, Janine M. Hoerauf, Angela F. Moss, Jason Brainard, Lena M. Mayes, Ana Fernandez-Bustamante, Susan K. Mikulich-Gilbertson and Karsten Bartels

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:71

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  11. Content type: Research article

    A thorough evaluation of the adequacy of clinical practice in a designated health care setting and temporal context is key for clinical care improvement. This study aimed to perform a clinical audit of primary...

    Authors: María Abad-Arranz, Ana Moran-Rodríguez, Enrique Mascarós Balaguer, Carmen Quintana Velasco, Laura Abad Polo, Sara Núñez Palomo, Jaime Gonzálvez Rey, Ana María Fernández Vargas, Antonio Hidalgo Requena, Jose Manuel Helguera Quevedo, Marina García Pardo and Jose Luis Lopez-Campos

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:68

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  12. Content type: Research article

    Web-based surveys have become increasingly popular but response rates are low and may be prone to selection bias. How people are invited to participate may impact response rates and needs further study as prev...

    Authors: Xiaochen Tai, Alanna M. Smith, Allison J. McGeer, Eve Dubé, Dorothy Linn Holness, Kevin Katz, Linda McGillis Hall, Shelly A. McNeil, Jeff Powis and Brenda L. Coleman

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:59

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  13. Content type: Research article

    The assessment of multiple systematic reviews (AMSTAR) tool is widely used for investigating the methodological quality of systematic reviews (SR). Originally, AMSTAR was developed for SRs of randomized contro...

    Authors: Dawid Pieper, Nadja Koensgen, Jessica Breuing, Long Ge and Uta Wegewitz

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:56

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  14. Content type: Research article

    To evaluate participant-related variables associated with missing assessment(s) at follow-up visits during a longitudinal research study.

    Authors: Sara E. Heins, Amy W. Wozniak, Elizabeth Colantuoni, Kristin A. Sepulveda, Pedro A. Mendez-Tellez, Cheryl Dennison-Himmelfarb, Dale M. Needham and Victor D. Dinglas

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:55

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  15. Content type: Research article

    Recent methodologic evidence suggests that lack of blinding in randomized trials can result in under- or overestimation of the treatment effect size. The objective of this study is to quantify the extent of bi...

    Authors: Humam Saltaji, Susan Armijo-Olivo, Greta G. Cummings, Maryam Amin, Bruno R. da Costa and Carlos Flores-Mir

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:42

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  16. Content type: Research article

    Accurate smoking status is key for research purposes, but can be costly and difficult to measure. Within the Veteran’s Health Administration (VA), smoking status is recorded as part of routine care as “health ...

    Authors: Anne C. Melzer, Erika A. Pinsker, Barbara Clothier, Siamak Noorbaloochi, Diana J. Burgess, Elisheva R. Danan and Steven S. Fu

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:39

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  17. Content type: Research article

    Systematic reviews (SRs) in the field of neuropathic pain (NeuP) are increasingly important for decision-making. However, methodological flaws in SRs can reduce the validity of conclusions. Hence, it is import...

    Authors: Svjetlana Dosenovic, Antonia Jelicic Kadic, Katarina Vucic, Nikolina Markovina, Dawid Pieper and Livia Puljak

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:37

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  18. Content type: Research article

    Certain cancer case ascertainment methods used in Quebec and elsewhere are known to underestimate the burden of cancer, particularly for some subgroups. Algorithms using claims data are a low-cost option to im...

    Authors: Mamadou Diop, Erin C. Strumpf and Geetanjali D. Datta

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:38

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  19. Content type: Debate

    When discussing results medical research articles often tear substantive and statistical (methodical) contributions apart, just as if both were independent. Consequently, reasoning on bias tends to be vague, u...

    Authors: Michael Höfler, John Venz, Sebastian Trautmann and Robert Miller

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:34

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  20. Content type: Research article

    Increasing numbers of systematic reviews (SRs) on total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA) have been published in recent years, but their quality has been unclear. The purpose of this stu...

    Authors: Xinyu Wu, Huan Sun, Xiaoqin Zhou, Ji Wang and Jing Li

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:30

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  21. Content type: Research article

    We use the example of the Gojjam Lymphoedema Best Practice Trial (GoLBeT), a pragmatic trial in a remote rural setting in northern Ethiopia, to extract lessons relevant to other investigators balancing the dem...

    Authors: Meseret Molla, Henok Negussie, Moses Ngari, Esther Kivaya, Patricia Njuguna, Fikre Enqueselassie, James A. Berkley and Gail Davey

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:26

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  22. Content type: Research article

    Bronchiolitis is the commonest respiratory infection in children less than 12 months and cause of hospitalisation in infants under 6 months of age in Australasia. Unfortunately there is substantial variation i...

    Authors: Sharon O’Brien, Sally Wilson, Fenella J. Gill, Elizabeth Cotterell, Meredith L Borland, Edward Oakley and Stuart R Dalziel

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:22

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  23. Content type: Research article

    Demands placed on individuals in occupational and social settings, as well as imbalances in personal traits and resources, can lead to chronic stress. The Trier Inventory for Chronic Stress (TICS) measures chr...

    Authors: Katja Petrowski, Sören Kliem, Michael Sadler, Alicia E. Meuret, Thomas Ritz and Elmar Brähler

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:18

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  24. Content type: Debate

    The Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) checklist and guide was developed by an international team of experts to promote full and accurate description of trial interventions. It is n...

    Authors: Sarah Cotterill, Sarah Knowles, Anne-Marie Martindale, Rebecca Elvey, Susan Howard, Nia Coupe, Paul Wilson and Michael Spence

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:12

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  25. Content type: Research article

    The impracticalities and comparative expense of carrying out a clinical assessment is an obstacle in many large epidemiological studies. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a series of electr...

    Authors: Dale J. Cooper, Brigitte E. Scammell, Mark E. Batt and Debbie Palmer

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:11

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  26. Content type: Research article

    This article corresponds to a literature review and analyze how heterogeneity of treatment (HTE) is reported and addressed in cohort studies and to evaluate the use of the different measures to HTE analysis.

    Authors: Meryl Dahan, Caroline Scemama, Raphael Porcher and David J. Biau

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:10

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  27. Content type: Research article

    Prospective study protocols and registrations can play a significant role in reducing incomplete or selective reporting of primary biomedical research, because they are pre-specified blueprints which are avail...

    Authors: Guowei Li, Luciana P. F. Abbade, Ikunna Nwosu, Yanling Jin, Alvin Leenus, Muhammad Maaz, Mei Wang, Meha Bhatt, Laura Zielinski, Nitika Sanger, Bianca Bantoto, Candice Luo, Ieta Shams, Hamnah Shahid, Yaping Chang, Guangwen Sun…

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:9

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  28. Content type: Research article

    The reporting of randomised controlled trial (RCT) abstracts is of vital importance. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the association between structure format and RCT abstracts’ quality o...

    Authors: Fang Hua, Tanya Walsh, Anne-Marie Glenny and Helen Worthington

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:6

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  29. Content type: Research article

    Article summaries’ information and structure may influence researchers/clinicians’ decisions to conduct deeper full-text analyses. Specifically, abstracts of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MA) sho...

    Authors: Francisco Gómez-García, Juan Ruano, Macarena Aguilar-Luque, Patricia Alcalde-Mellado, Jesús Gay-Mimbrera, José Luis Hernández-Romero, Juan Luis Sanz-Cabanillas, Beatriz Maestre-López, Marcelino González-Padilla, Pedro J. Carmona-Fernández, Antonio Vélez García-Nieto and Beatriz Isla-Tejera

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:180

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  30. Content type: Research article

    Evidence shows that research abstracts are commonly inconsistent with their corresponding full reports, and may mislead readers. In this scoping review, which is part of our series on the state of reporting of...

    Authors: Guowei Li, Luciana P. F. Abbade, Ikunna Nwosu, Yanling Jin, Alvin Leenus, Muhammad Maaz, Mei Wang, Meha Bhatt, Laura Zielinski, Nitika Sanger, Bianca Bantoto, Candice Luo, Ieta Shams, Hamnah Shahid, Yaping Chang, Guangwen Sun…

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:181

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  31. Content type: Research article

    Systematic reviews may provide less biased evidence than narrative reviews because they observe a strict methodology, similarly to primary studies. Hence, for clinical research questions, systematic reviews sh...

    Authors: Clovis Mariano Faggion Jr, Nikolaos P. Bakas and Jason Wasiak

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:176

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  32. Content type: Research article

    Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are becoming increasingly important methods to summarize published research. Studies of ophthalmology may present additional challenges because of their potentially complex...

    Authors: Seon-Young Lee, Harkiran Sagoo, Reem Farwana, Katharine Whitehurst, Alex Fowler and Riaz Agha

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:178

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  33. Content type: Research article

    Effectiveness of interventions in pragmatic trials may not translate directly into population impact, because of limited uptake by clinicians and/or the public. Uptake of an intervention is influenced by a num...

    Authors: Katy J. L. Bell, Amanda McCullough, Chris Del Mar and Paul Glasziou

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:174

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  34. Content type: Research article

    Personalized healthcare relies on the identification of factors explaining why individuals respond differently to the same intervention. Analyses identifying such factors, so called predictors and moderators, ...

    Authors: Ralph van Hoorn, Marcia Tummers, Andrew Booth, Ansgar Gerhardus, Eva Rehfuess, Daniel Hind, Patrick M. Bossuyt, Vivian Welch, Thomas P. A. Debray, Martin Underwood, Pim Cuijpers, Helena Kraemer, Gert Jan van der Wilt and Wietkse Kievit

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:173

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  35. Content type: Research article

    Summary of findings tables in systematic reviews are highly informative but require epidemiological training to be interpreted correctly. The usage of fishbone diagrams as graphical displays could offer resear...

    Authors: Gerald Gartlehner, Marie-Therese Schultes, Viktoria Titscher, Laura C. Morgan, Georgiy V. Bobashev, Peyton Williams and Suzanne L. West

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:169

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  36. Content type: Research article

    Clinical studies in children are necessary yet conducting multiple visits at study centers remains challenging. The success of “care-at-home” initiatives and remote clinical trials suggests their potential to ...

    Authors: Belinda von Niederhäusern, Ramon Saccilotto, Sabine Schädelin, Victoria Ziesenitz, Pascal Benkert, Marie-Luise Decker, Anya Hammann, Julia Bielicki, Marc Pfister and Christiane Pauli-Magnus

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:163

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  37. Content type: Research article

    As implementation science advances, the number of interventions to promote the translation of evidence into healthcare, health systems, or health policy is growing. Accordingly, classification schemes for thes...

    Authors: Susan E. Slaughter, Gabrielle L. Zimmermann, Megan Nuspl, Heather M. Hanson, Lauren Albrecht, Rosmin Esmail, Khara Sauro, Amanda S. Newton, Maoliosa Donald, Michele P. Dyson, Denise Thomson and Lisa Hartling

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:161

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  38. Content type: Research article

    The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a commonly used scale to measure severity of alcohol consumption that contains an item asking if anyone has expressed concern about your drinking or sug...

    Authors: John A. Cunningham, Alexandra Godinho, Vladyslav Kushnir and Nicolas Bertholet

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:158

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  39. Content type: Research article

    Regulations, study design complexity and amounts of collected and shared data in clinical trials render efficient data handling procedures inevitable. Recent research suggests that electronic data capture can ...

    Authors: Robert Fleischmann, Anne-Marie Decker, Antje Kraft, Knut Mai and Sein Schmidt

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:153

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  40. Content type: Research article

    Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is an online portal operated by Amazon where ‘requesters’ (individuals or businesses) can submit jobs for ‘workers.’ MTurk is used extensively by academics as a quick and cheap means of...

    Authors: John A. Cunningham, Alexandra Godinho and Vladyslav Kushnir

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:156

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  41. Content type: Research article

    Our objective was to assess the frequency of data extraction errors and its potential impact on results in systematic reviews. Furthermore, we evaluated the effect of different extraction methods, reviewer cha...

    Authors: Tim Mathes, Pauline Klaßen and Dawid Pieper

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:152

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  42. Content type: Research article

    An up-to-date systematic review is important for researchers to decide whether to embark on new research or continue supporting ongoing studies. The aim of this study is to examine the time taken between the l...

    Authors: Wilson W. S. Tam, Kenneth K. H. Lo, Parames Khalechelvam, Joey Seah and Shawn Y. S. Goh

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:151

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  43. Content type: Research article

    The reproducibility of research is essential to rigorous science, yet significant concerns of the reliability and verifiability of biomedical research have been recently highlighted. Ongoing efforts across sev...

    Authors: Leslie D. McIntosh, Anthony Juehne, Cynthia R. H. Vitale, Xiaoyan Liu, Rosalia Alcoser, J. Christian Lukas and Bradley Evanoff

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:143

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  44. Content type: Research article

    The ACE-III, a gold standard for screening cognitive impairment, is restricted by language and culture, with no uniform set of guidelines for its adaptation. To develop guidelines a compilation of all the adap...

    Authors: Nadine Mirza, Maria Panagioti, Muhammad Wali Waheed and Waquas Waheed

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:141

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  45. Content type: Research article

    Although there has been growing research on the burden of treatment, the current state of evidence on measuring this concept is unknown. This scoping review aimed to provide an overview of the current state of...

    Authors: Adem Sav, Asiyeh Salehi, Frances S. Mair and Sara S. McMillan

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:140

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  46. Content type: Research article

    Longitudinal studies using data collected as part of usual care risk providing biased results if visit times are related to the outcome of interest. Statistical methods for mitigating this bias are available b...

    Authors: Delaram Farzanfar, Asmaa Abumuamar, Jayoon Kim, Emily Sirotich, Yue Wang and Eleanor Pullenayegum

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:133

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  47. Content type: Research article

    Self-interviews, where the respondent rather than the interviewer enters answers to questions, have been proposed as a way to reduce social desirability bias associated with interviewer-led interviews. Compute...

    Authors: Guy Harling, Dumile Gumede, Tinofa Mutevedzi, Nuala McGrath, Janet Seeley, Deenan Pillay, Till W. Bärnighausen and Abraham J. Herbst

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:125

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  48. Content type: Research article

    The objective consensus methodology has recently been applied in consensus finding in several studies on medical decision-making among clinical experts or guidelines. The main advantages of this method are an ...

    Authors: Cédric M. Panje, Markus Glatzer, Joscha von Rappard, Christian Rothermundt, Thomas Hundsberger, Valentin Zumstein, Ludwig Plasswilm and Paul Martin Putora

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:123

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  49. Content type: Research article

    Decisionmakers and guideline developers demand rapid syntheses of the evidence when time sensitive evidence-informed decisions are required. A potential trade-off of such rapid reviews is that their results ca...

    Authors: Gernot Wagner, Barbara Nussbaumer-Streit, Judith Greimel, Agustín Ciapponi and Gerald Gartlehner

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:121

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