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Living systematic reviews at The BMJ

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 30 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2925

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  1. Helen Macdonald, UK research editor,
  2. Elizabeth Loder, head of research,
  3. Kamran Abbasi, executive editor
  1. The BMJ, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: E Loder eloder{at}

We will consider living systematic reviews in fast moving research areas

In many areas of medicine the rapid accumulation of evidence is unmanageable. The covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the production of research and produced an urgent need for timely access to high quality, up-to-date syntheses of this evidence. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are the best way to aggregate and appraise studies that examine a particular research question, but they take time to produce. Even when published rapidly, they may lag behind accumulated evidence by months or years. Living systematic reviews overcome this problem by allowing authors to update previously vetted and peer reviewed evidence syntheses in response to relevant new information.12

The BMJ’s first living systematic review, evaluating prognostic models in covid-19, was published in April 2020 and has already been …

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