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How to review and assess a systematic review and meta-analysis article
Seung-Kwon Myung
Sci Ed. 2023;10(2):119-126.   Published online April 28, 2023
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Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have become central in many research fields, particularly medicine. They offer the highest level of evidence in evidence-based medicine and support the development and revision of clinical practice guidelines, which offer recommendations for clinicians caring for patients with specific diseases and conditions. This review summarizes the concepts of systematic reviews and meta-analyses and provides guidance on reviewing and assessing such papers. A systematic review refers to a review of a research question that uses explicit and systematic methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research. In contrast, a meta-analysis is a quantitative statistical analysis that combines individual results on the same research question to estimate the common or mean effect. Conducting a meta-analysis involves defining a research topic, selecting a study design, searching literature in electronic databases, selecting relevant studies, and conducting the analysis. One can assess the findings of a meta-analysis by interpreting a forest plot and a funnel plot and by examining heterogeneity. When reviewing systematic reviews and meta-analyses, several essential points must be considered, including the originality and significance of the work, the comprehensiveness of the database search, the selection of studies based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, subgroup analyses by various factors, and the interpretation of the results based on the levels of evidence. This review will provide readers with helpful guidance to help them read, understand, and evaluate these articles.
An algorithm for the selection of reporting guidelines
Soo Young Kim
Sci Ed. 2023;10(1):13-18.   Published online November 14, 2022
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AbstractAbstract PDF
A reporting guideline can be defined as “a checklist, flow diagram, or structured text to guide authors in reporting a specific type of research, developed using explicit methodology.” A reporting guideline outlines the bare minimum of information that must be presented in a research report in order to provide a transparent and understandable explanation of what was done and what was discovered. Many reporting guidelines have been developed, and it has become important to select the most appropriate reporting guideline for a manuscript. Herein, I propose an algorithm for the selection of reporting guidelines. This algorithm was developed based on the research design classification system and the content presented for major reporting guidelines through the EQUATOR (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research) network. This algorithm asks 10 questions: “is it a protocol,” “is it secondary research,” “is it an in vivo animal study,” “is it qualitative research,” “is it economic evaluation research,” “is it a diagnostic accuracy study or prognostic research,” “is it quality improvement research,” “is it a non-comparative study,” “is it a comparative study between groups,” and “is it an experimental study?” According to the responses, 16 appropriate reporting guidelines are suggested. Using this algorithm will make it possible to select reporting guidelines rationally and transparently.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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    Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions.2023; 20: 21.     CrossRef
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    Korean Journal of Women Health Nursing.2023; 29(3): 147.     CrossRef

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