Systematic reviews at KI

In the last few years, we have seen an explicit trend in systematic reviews. More and more people talks about it. Students are asked to conduct systematic reviews. Researchers ask us for assistance in systematic literature searching. However, is there a clear trend in published systematic reviews?

First of all, you will need a clear definition of the concept systematic review and that's unfortunately quite complicated. However, you'll find more information about this at our systematic review page.

Further, in Pubmed there is no publication type for systematic reviews, but only for reviews in general. Oddly, you are able to select "Systematic Reviews" in Pubmed in the menu "Article types" (add the tag by selecting "Customize...") This is not, however, a publication type, but a search filter for retrieving systematic reviews.

If we select this search filter (systematic review[pt]) and choose a period of ten year, we can see a clear trend worldwide in published systematic reviews. (The table is not compensated for the growing trend in the biomedical literature in general, but this trend is not as sharp.)

How many systematic reviews are then published by researchers affiliated to Karolinska Institutet? To answer this, we used the KI Bibliometric Database and search for systematic reviews (using a more specific search filter than the above mentioned).

As you can see, there is a clear increasing trend also at KI: from almost 10 systematic reviews in 2006 to more than 60 in 2015. We should, however, take into account that researchers are getting better at entitle their reviews as "systematic" in the title, which is suggested på PRISMA. A part of the trend can thus be explained by this.

In the analysis, we also did have a look at the affiliation strength to KI, using the following criterias:

  • High affiliation strength – first, last or corresponding author from KI.
  • Meso affiliation strength – at least 5 authors or 10% of the authors are from KI.
  • Low affiliation strength – there is an address to KI, but the conditions above are not fulfilled.

Lastly, we also did have a look at the KI departments. As we can see, the number of published systematic reviews differ a lot between departments. (Keep in mind, these numbers are not compensated for the number of researchers at each department.)

Do you need help in systematic literature searching? Please find more information on our systematic review page.

Carl Gornitzki

Librarian engaged in research support in various forms. Coordinating the search consultation service. Teaching medical students.