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The benefits of data sharing and ensuring open sources of systematic review data
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-15, 02:52 authored by Serene YoongSerene Yoong, H Turon, A Grady, R Hodder, L Wolfenden
AIMS: The benefits of increasing public access to data from clinical trials are widely accepted. Such benefits extend to the sharing of data from high-quality systematic reviews, given the time and cost involved with undertaking reviews. We describe the application of open sources of review data, outline potential challenges and highlight efforts made to address these challenges, with the intent of encouraging publishers, funders and authors to consider sharing review data more broadly. RESULTS: We describe the application of systematic review data in: (i) advancing understanding of clinical trials and systematic review methods, (ii) repurposing of data to answer public health policy and practice relevant questions, (iii) identification of research gaps and (iv) accelerating the conduct of rapid reviews to inform decision making. While access, logistical, motivational and legal challenges exist, there has been progress made by systematic review, academic and funding agencies to incentivise data sharing and create infrastructure to support greater access to systematic review data. CONCLUSION: There is opportunity to maximize the benefits of research investment in undertaking systematic reviews by ensuring open sources of systematic review data. Efforts to create such systems should draw on learnings and principles outlined for sharing clinical trial data.