Evolution of international collaborative research efforts to develop non-Cochrane systematic reviews

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Isabel Viguera-GuerraBeatriz Isla-Tejera


This research-on-research study describes efforts to develop non-Cochrane systematic reviews (SRs) by analysing demographical and time-course collaborations between international institutions using protocols registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) or published in scientific journals. We have published an a priori protocol to develop this study. Protocols published in scientific journals were searched in MEDLINE/PubMed and Embase databases using the query terms 'Systematic review'[Title] AND 'protocol'[Title] from February 2011 to December 2017. Protocols registered at PROSPERO during the same period were obtained by web scraping all non-Cochrane records with a Python script. After excluding protocols with less than 90% fulfilled or duplicated, they were classified as published 'only in PROSPERO', 'only in journals', or in both 'journals and PROSPERO'. Results of data and metadata extraction using text-mining processes were curated by two reviewers. Datasets and R scripts are freely available to facilitate reproducibility. We obtained 20,814 protocols of non-Cochrane SRs. While 'unique protocols' by re-viewers' institutions from 60 countries were the most frequent, to prepare 'collab...Continue Reading

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