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Time to consider sharing data extracted from trials included in systematic reviews
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-15, 00:50 authored by L Wolfenden, J Grimshaw, CM Williams, Serene YoongSerene Yoong
Background: While the debate regarding shared clinical trial data has shifted from whether such data should be shared to how this is best achieved, the sharing of data collected as part of systematic reviews has received little attention. In this commentary, we discuss the potential benefits of coordinated efforts to share data collected as part of systematic reviews. Main body: There are a number of potential benefits of systematic review data sharing. Shared information and data obtained as part of the systematic review process may reduce unnecessary duplication, reduce demand on trialist to service repeated requests from reviewers for data, and improve the quality and efficiency of future reviews. Sharing also facilitates research to improve clinical trial and systematic review methods and supports additional analyses to address secondary research questions. While concerns regarding appropriate use of data, costs, or the academic return for original review authors may impede more open access to information extracted as part of systematic reviews, many of these issues are being addressed, and infrastructure to enable greater access to such information is being developed. Conclusion: Embracing systems to enable more open access to systematic review data has considerable potential to maximise the benefits of research investment in undertaking systematic reviews.