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How can we improve the interpretation of systematic reviews?

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medicine, March 2011
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (86th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (55th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
1 policy source


20 Dimensions

Readers on

76 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
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How can we improve the interpretation of systematic reviews?
Published in
BMC Medicine, March 2011
DOI 10.1186/1741-7015-9-31
Pubmed ID

Andrea C Tricco, Sharon E Straus, David Moher


A study conducted by Lai and colleagues, published this week in BMC Medicine, suggests that more guidance might be required for interpreting systematic review (SR) results. In the study by Lai and colleagues, positive (or favorable) results were influential in changing participants' prior beliefs about the interventions presented in the systematic review. Other studies have examined the relationship between favorable systematic review results and the publication of systematic reviews. An international registry may decrease the number of unpublished systematic reviews and will hopefully decrease redundancy, increase transparency, and increase collaboration within the SR community. In addition, using guidance from the Preferred Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA: http://www.prisma-statement.org/) Statement and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE: http://www.gradeworkinggroup.org/) approach can also be used to improve the interpretation of systematic reviews. In this commentary, we highlight important methodological issues related to the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews and also present our own guidance on interpreting systematic reviews. Please see Research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/9/30/.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 76 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Canada 4 5%
Germany 1 1%
Malaysia 1 1%
Ireland 1 1%
France 1 1%
Mexico 1 1%
United States 1 1%
Unknown 66 87%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 17 22%
Researcher 11 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 11%
Other 6 8%
Professor 5 7%
Other 21 28%
Unknown 8 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 34 45%
Nursing and Health Professions 6 8%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 4 5%
Social Sciences 4 5%
Psychology 3 4%
Other 12 16%
Unknown 13 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 10. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 05 May 2016.
All research outputs
of 22,914,829 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medicine
of 3,445 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 109,103 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medicine
of 34 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,914,829 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 85th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,445 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 43.5. This one is in the 45th percentile – i.e., 45% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 109,103 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 34 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 55% of its contemporaries.