Prospective protocol registration should be required for systematic reviews in dermatology literature


      Recently, the authors of this study undertook a systematic review, and during the data collection phase, a systematic review was published on the same topic, despite not being registered on Prospective Registration of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO). As a result we sought to perform an evidence-based review of the dermatology literature evaluating PROSPERO registration for published systematic reviews. Prospective systematic review protocol registration can help optimize resources, time, and the efforts of research teams rather than committing unplanned duplication. Our data on journals’ author guidelines showed that although 38.8% of journals mentioned systematic reviews in their author guidelines, only 2.5% (n = 2) required PROSPERO registration. Further analysis revealed that only 13.7% (n = 204 of 1,492) of published systematic reviews in dermatology literature were registered in PROSPERO. Our study highlights the paucity of PROSPERO-registered systematic reviews in dermatology journals, as well as the need to require prospective protocol registration and require submission of a Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses checklist. We believe these measures will ultimately improve the quality of systematic reviews in dermatology literature.
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