Mass Production of Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses: An Exercise in Mega-silliness?


In 1978, the distinguished professor of psychology Hans Eysenck delivered a scathing critique of what was then a new method, that of meta-analysis, which he described as “an exercise in mega-silliness.” A provocative article by John Ioannidis in this issue of the journal suggests that “mega-silliness” may be an appropriate characterization of what the meta-analysis literature has become. With surveys of the PubMed database and other empirical evaluations, Ioannidis paints a disturbing picture of the current state of affairs, where researchers are producing, in epidemic proportions, systematic reviews and meta-analyses that are redundant, misleading, or serving vested interests.

Author(s): Matthew J. Page and David Moher

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Volume 94, Issue 3 (pages 515–519)
DOI: 10.1111/1468-0009.12211
Published in 2016