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Seong Jung Kim 1 Article
Status quo of systematic reviews published in high-impact journals in Korea: A study focused on protocol registration and GRADE use
Mi Ah Han, Seong Jung Kim, Eu Chang Hwang, Jae Hung Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2022108.   Published online November 15, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022108    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
This study investigated the status quo of systematic reviews published in major journals in Korea from the perspective of protocol registration and adopting the grading of recommendation, assessment, development and evaluation (GRADE) system.
Methods
We examined systematic reviews published in Korea’s top 15 medical journals from 2018 to 2021. Teams of two reviewers assessed the study eligibility criteria and extracted data independently and in duplicate. We collected the information on study characteristics, protocol registration, GRADE use of reviews included, and reviewed the “Instructions to Authors” of the selected journals to assess any guidance related to systematic reviews.
Results
Out of the 126 identified reviews, 18 (14.3%) reported that they registered or published their protocol. Only 5 (4.0%) rated the certainty of evidence; and all 5 used the GRADE system. Only 6 of 15 journals mentioned systematic reviews in their "Instructions for Authors.” Six journals endorsed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) for systematic review reporting; however, 2 were mandatory, 3 were recommended, and 1 was unclear. None of the journals included mentioned protocol registration or certainty of evidence in their authors’ guidelines.
Conclusions
Overall, the proportion of prior protocol registration of systematic reviews and adoption of the GRADE approach to rate the certainty of evidence was very low. Our study highlights the adherence to the systematic review standards of medical journals in Korea, including a prior protocol registration and certainty of evidence assessment. Our review helps improve the quality of systematic reviews in Korea.
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Korean summary
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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health