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Citing this Article

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Published on 28.07.05 in Vol 7, No 4 (2005)

This paper is in the following e-collection/theme issue:


    "Is Cybermedicine Killing You?" - Peer Review and Evidence-Based Medicine: Author's Reply

    Corresponding Author:

    Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH

    Centre for Global eHealth Innovation

    University of Toronto and University Health Network

    190 Elizabeth Street

    Toronto, ON M5G 2C4


    Phone: +1 416 340 4800 ext 6427

    Fax:+1 416 340 3595


    Related Articles:

    Comment on: Eysenbach G, Kummervold PE. "Is Cybermedicine Killing You?" - The Story of a Cochrane Disaster. J Med Internet Res. 2005;7(2) p. e21

    Comment on: Fogel J. "Is Cybermedicine Killing You?" - Peer Review and Evidence-Based Medicine. J Med Internet Res. 2005;7(2) p. e38

    J Med Internet Res 2005;7(4):e39


    Author's Response

    Fogel's suggestion of a grading system according to the level of peer review (reminiscent of grading systems for "level of evidence" of primary studies) is interesting, but further study is required to determine to what degree the proposed ratings actually correlate with quality or peer review rigor. My suggestion [1] was to routinely invite all authors of the primary studies to comment on a draft of the systematic review. They actually do not have to peer review the entire paper in the sense of having to write a full referee report, they just should have access to the review before its actual publication to ensure that the authors did not make any major extraction errors (such as in the reported case) or misinterpret any of the original studies (as this would be most easily spotted by the authors of the primary studies). Because authors of systematic reviews often contact the authors of the primary studies anyway (to inquire about nonpublished data or ask other questions), this could be done relatively easily and routinely, in particular, if preprint servers are used, which in other disciplines are common but are underused in medicine.


    1. Eysenbach G, Kummervold PE. "Is cybermedicine killing you?" - the story of a Cochrane disaster. J Med Internet Res 2005 Jun 30;7(2):e21 [FREE Full text] [Medline] [CrossRef]

    Edited by G Eysenbach; This is a non–peer-reviewed article. submitted 18.07.05; accepted 18.07.05; published 28.07.05

    © Gunther Eysenbach. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 28.7.2005. Except where otherwise noted, articles published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, including full bibliographic details and the URL (see "please cite as" above), and this statement is included.