Non-corresponding authors in the era of meta-analyses

Andrea Manca, Lucia Cugusi, Zeevi Dvir, Franca Deriu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: The exponential growth of the global scientific output requires review articles that summarize such escalating knowledge. The rate of growth in the number of published meta-analyses in the last decade is impressive, with meta-analyses being the most cited form of scientific article. The validity of the pooled estimates of effect heavily rely on the availability of data in the included articles. Unfortunately, inadequate reporting of the findings is common and often makes data extraction cumbersome. However, the response rate of corresponding authors to data requests is dangerously low, which threatens the validity of meta-analytic estimates. The aim of the present communication is to ignite a thoughtful debate to stimulate a higher level of responsibility and correspondence commitment from published authors. Methods: Commentary on our personal experience as meta-analysts. Results: In line with previous surveys, we observed a low response rate from corresponding authors, typically less than 50%. Conclusions: Lack of publication follow-up is a serious threat not only to meta-analysts and systematic reviewers, whose incomplete data pooling may lead to biased and misleading estimates of effect, but also to clinical practitioners, who heavily rely on the findings generated by meta-analyses for informing and driving their clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-161
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Correspondence
  • Corresponding authors
  • Data extraction
  • Data sharing
  • Meta-analysis
  • Post-publication follow-up


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