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Managing the incidence of selective reporting bias: a survey of Cochrane review groups

Overview of attention for article published in Systematic Reviews, June 2015
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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 (84th percentile)

Mentioned by

16 tweeters
1 Facebook page


14 Dimensions

Readers on

47 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
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Managing the incidence of selective reporting bias: a survey of Cochrane review groups
Published in
Systematic Reviews, June 2015
DOI 10.1186/s13643-015-0070-y
Pubmed ID

Emma K Reid, Aaron M Tejani, Lawrence N Huan, Gregory Egan, Cait O’Sullivan, Alain D Mayhew, Monisha Kabir


Selective reporting bias (SRB), the incomplete publication of outcomes measured or of analyses performed in a study, may lead to the over- or underestimation of treatment effects or harms. Cochrane systematic reviews of interventions are required to assess the risk of SRB, achieved in part by applying the Cochrane risk of bias tool to each included randomised trial. The Cochrane Handbook outlines strategies for a comprehensive risk of bias assessment, but the extent to which these are followed by Cochrane review groups (CRGs) has not been assessed to date. The objective of this study was to determine the methods which CRGs require of their authors to address SRB within systematic reviews, and how SRB risk assessments are verified. A cross-sectional survey was developed and distributed electronically to the 52 CRGs involved in intervention reviews. Responses from 42 CRGs show that the majority refer their authors to the Cochrane Handbook for specific instruction regarding assessments of SRB. The handbook strategies remain variably enforced, with 57 % (24/42) of CRGs not requiring review authors to search for included trial protocols and 31 % (13/42) not requiring that contact with individual study authors be attempted. Only half (48 %, 20/42) of the groups consistently verify review authors' assessments of the risk of SRB to ensure completeness. A range of practices are used by CRGs for addressing SRB, with many steps outlined in the Cochrane Handbook being encouraged but not required. The majority of CRGs do not consider their review authors to be sufficiently competent to assess for SRB, yet risk of bias assessments are not always verified by editors before publication. The implications of SRB may not be fully appreciated by all CRGs, and resolving the identified issues may require an approach targeting several steps in the systematic review process.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 16 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 47 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 47 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 11 23%
Student > Bachelor 10 21%
Librarian 4 9%
Researcher 4 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 6%
Other 8 17%
Unknown 7 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 16 34%
Nursing and Health Professions 7 15%
Computer Science 3 6%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 4%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 2 4%
Other 6 13%
Unknown 11 23%

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 07 February 2021.
All research outputs
of 20,233,537 outputs
Outputs from Systematic Reviews
of 1,779 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 248,317 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Systematic Reviews
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 20,233,537 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 86th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,779 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.7. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 70% of its peers.
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 248,317 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 84% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them