Eligibility Criteria

Articles included in this review

This review is registered with the PROSPERO register of systematic reviews. Click here to be taken to the full PROSPERO record.

  • Articles published in peer-reviewed academic journal to highlight problems with published systematic reviews

  • Meta-epidemiological studies of systematic reviews

  • Methodological or reporting overviews of systematic reviews

  • Primary analytical studies of systematic reviews

  • Survey/questionnaires or qualitative studies exploring author opinion or practices in systematic reviews

  • Grey literature in the form of non-empirical articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals which highlight problems of published systematic reviews including narrative review articles, editorials and commentaries

  • Articles published in the English language

Excluded from this review

  • Articles without mention of a problem with published systematic reviews

  • Articles that discuss theoretical problems in systematic reviews but not in relation to examples in the published literature

  • Articles which may encompass systematic reviews but where the study’s inclusion criteria were not specific to systematic reviews

  • Articles of problems with meta-analyses not conducted in the context of a systematic review

  • Study protocols, books, conference proceedings and PhD theses

  • Good practice guidelines for systematic reviews or guideline validation studies

  • Clinical studies or overview systematic reviews which do assess methodological or reporting quality of the systematic reviews included

  • Studies related to the assessment of the primary included studies rather than the systematic reviews themselves e.g. low GRADE quality

  • Focus on literature “reviews” but not systematic reviews

  • Studies of problems with rapid reviews