All of the reviews registered to the Injuries Group will be brought to publication according to the methods described in the published protocol.
Evolution of the Injuries Group editorial policy:
In 2015 the Cochrane Injuries Group staff editors published an editorial policy setting out a variety of methods to be used by review authors with the aim of improving the validity of a review’s results.
Roberts I, Ker K, Edwards P, Beecher D, Manno D, Sydenham E. The knowledge system underpinning health care is not fit for purpose and must change. BMJ 2015;350:h2463.
The need for an editorial policy arose when a number of retraction notices were issued for studies included in the Group’s reviews.
The Injuries Group editorial policy was debated at the 2015 Cochrane Colloquium in Vienna.
A recording of Professor Roberts’ presentation which outlines the rationale for the policy is available towards the bottom of the page linked above.
An outcome of the Vienna methods debate was Cochrane’s Scientific Committee’s decision in 2018 to advise against the routine use of Cumulative Meta-Analysis methods in Cochrane systematic reviews. A panel of statistical experts came to the decision by consensus.
- Statement: https://methods.cochrane.org/methods-cochrane/repeated-meta-analyses
- Supporting presentations: https://methods.cochrane.org/about-us/scientific-committee/agendas-and-minutes-cochrane-scientific-committee
The rationale for work in this area was discussed again at an open seminar 2021:
- Fraudulent trials in systematic reviews – a major public health problem
- The discussion and debate continued on a blog by Richard Smith:
Time to assume that health research is fraudulent until proven otherwise?
A number of editorial and methods policies have subsequently been developed by Cochrane which explore the variety of issues set out as the basis for the Injuries Group editorial policy. The 2015 Injuries Group editorial policy is now outdated and researchers in the field of evidence synthesis should look to the following materials for guidance:
- Cochrane’s Policy on Managing Potentially Problematic Studies:
- Searching for retractions guidance
See Parts 1 and 2 of the Policy Documentation.
An editorial by Cochrane’s Research Integrity Department describing the problem of problematic studies and announcing the Managing Potentially Problematic Studies Policy: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/es/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.ED000152/full
- WHO expectations for trial registration, specifying the minimum dataset and internal due diligence of trials prior to registration International Standards for Clinical Trial Registries (who.int)
Note: Prospective trial registration is the gold standard, this means registering the trial before the first participant is recruited into the trial.
Some WHO network trial registries, such as the national registry of India (http://ctri.nic.in), do not accept retrospective trial registration. Some WHO network trial registries, such as the national registry of China (https://www.chictr.org.cn/registryen.aspx), will only register a trial retrospectively if the complete individual participant dataset is submitted for independent review. Efforts such as these aim to maintain prospective trial registration as the international gold standard.
- Methods study showing poor trial registration compliance
Poor compliance of clinical trial registration among trials included in systematic reviews: a cohort study
- Methods study showing high risk of bias amongst unregistered studies
Clinical trial registration was associated with lower risk of bias compared with non-registered trials among trials included in systematic reviews
- Methods overview for assessing research misconduct in medical research publications
Methods to assess research misconduct in health-related research: A scoping review
- Aggregating clinical trial regulations from around the globe (https://clinregs.niaid.nih.gov/)
A resource enabling the comparison of national clinical trials regulations.
- Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group’s Trustworthiness Screening Tool
Identifying and handling potentially untrustworthy trials in Pregnancy and Childbirth Cochrane Reviews | Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth
- REAPPRAISED Checklist which can assist with performing due diligence on trials prior to their inclusion in a systematic review
- Research Integrity Assessment tool for randomised controlled trials in evidence synthesis
- Cochrane’s research integrity department’s list of activities
- Cochrane's advocacy for transparency and integrity in research