A number of studies show that researchers, research funders, regulators, sponsors and publishers of research fail to use earlier research when preparing to start, fund, regulate, sponsor or publish the results of new studies. To embark on research without systematically reviewing the evidence of what is already known, particularly when the research involves people or animals, is unethical, unscientific, and wasteful.

The aim of the EBRNetwork is to reduce waste in research by promoting:

No new studies without prior systematic review of existing evidence
Efficient production, updating and dissemination of systematic reviews

For more information about how systematic reviews can reduce waste in research read this blog post by Paul Glasziou and Iain Chalmers, and this by Kamal Mahtani. Also, the following comments in the Lancet (1, 2) highlight the importance of systematic reviews for the progress of scientific knowledge, and this offers a more precise definition of a systematic review.

Conducting a systematic review is resource intensive. A key part of the aim of the EBRNetwork is the efficient production, updating and dissemination of systematic reviews. To help address this aim, members of the International Collaboration for the Automation of System Reviews (ICASR) met in Vienna in the autumn of 2015. From that meeting was drafted the “Vienna Principles”: general principles of collaboration and development in the automation of systematic reviews. Review the Vienna Principles.

The EBRNetwork fully supports the statement by Corrado Barbui and co-authors in European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology:

“Systematic reviews may simultaneously produce new findings and summarize existing knowledge, with the potential of informing regulatory decisions more pragmatically and more rapidly than other research designs. We suggest that national and international calls on independent research on drugs should not put primary clinical research against systematic reviews, as it implies a focus on the methods instead of on the questions being asked.”

The EBRNetwork encourages all interested individuals and organisations to join the EBRNetwork and work together to address this challenge to the very heart and values of research.

Become a member and support our aims

Contact: For more details, please contact the EBRNetwork at info@ebrnetwork.org