Grey literature in meta-analyses of randomized trials of health care interventions
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2008
Grey literature in meta-analyses of randomized trials of health care interventions - The Cochrane Library - Hopewell - Wiley Online Library from LOGIN Enter e-mail address Enter password REMEMBER ME > > > > DATABASE TOOLS DATABASE MENU FIND ARTICLES OTHER RESOURCES Methodology Review You have full text access to this content Grey literature in meta-analyses of randomized trials of health care interventions Sally Hopewell 1,* , Steve McDonald 2 , Mike J Clarke 1 , Matthias Egger 3 Editorial Group: Published Online: 23 APR 2008 Assessed as up-to-date: 19 FEB 2007 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.MR000010.pub3 Copyright © 2008 The Cochrane Collaboration.
literature that has not been formally published) in systematic reviews may help to overcome some of the problems of publication bias, which can arise due to the selective availability of data.
Objectives To review systematically research studies, which have investigated the impact of grey literature in meta-analyses of randomized trials of health care interventions.
Search methods We searched the Cochrane Methodology Register ( The Cochrane Library Issue 3, 2005), MEDLINE (1966 to 20 May 2005), the Science Citation Index (June 2005) and contacted researchers who may have carried out relevant studies.
Selection criteria A study was considered eligible for this review if it compared the effect of the inclusion and exclusion of grey literature on the results of a cohort of meta-analyses of randomized trials.
Data collection and analysis Data were extracted from each report independently by two reviewers.
The main outcome measure was an estimate of the impact of trials from the grey literature on the pooled effect estimates of the meta-analyses.
Information was also collected on the area of health care, the number of meta-analyses, the number of trials, the number of trial participants, the year of publication of the trials, the language and country of publication of the trials, the number and type of grey and published literature, and methodological quality.
All five studies showed that published trials showed an overall greater treatment effect than grey trials.
This showed that, on average, published trials showed a 9% greater treatment effect than grey trials (ratio of odds ratios for grey versus published trials 1.09; 95% CI 1.03-1.16).
Overall there were more published trials included in the meta-analyses than grey trials (median 224 (IQR 108-365) versus 45(IQR 40-102)).