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Overlapping meta-analyses on the same topic: survey of published studies

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4501 (Published 19 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4501

Re: Overlapping meta-analyses on the same topic: survey of published studies

The wise use of research resources is important, but I would not want to discourage work that replicates what others have done.

In our Yale Open Data Access (YODA) project with the Medtronic data, we showed clearly that you when give the exact same patient-level clinical trial data to two world famous systematic review groups that they take different approaches, end up with different sample sizes and interpret the data differently – and emphasize different points. Their general findings were similar – but for those of us interested in the details, they were important differences – and I felt that was a strong case for open science – and for encouraging different people to do the study the way they think they should - and then let public dialog ensue.

The redundancy should be, in my opinion, welcomed rather than pushed off as a waste of effort. And it is fine if many people verify what others have done. They just need to acknowledge the prior publications and be clear about the comparison and contrast.

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 August 2013
Harlan Krumholz
Physician
Yale University
1 Church Street; New Haven, CT