Table of Contents: February 2011

Systematic reviews (overviews of health care interventions that use predefined methods to find and appraise all the relevant evidence) are generally thought to provide reliable evidence for decision-making in clinical practice, if carefully carried out and transparently reported. However, there is potential for bias in the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews through nonpublication of "negative" outcomes. Given this potential for bias, PLoS Medicine announces its support for prospective registration of systematic reviews during the planning stage. PLoS Medicine will now ask authors who submit reports of systematic reviews whether they registered their study and to provide a copy of the systematic review protocol if available. The Editors hope these steps will encourage and enable more transparent reporting of systematic reviews.

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