Systematic Review or Meta Analysis:
Authors should report systematic reviews and meta-analyses in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. Systematic Reviews maximum number of references is 100, maximum number of illustrations/Tables is 6. For Systematic Reviews, both abstract and text of the manuscript should be subdivided into the following sequential sections:
1) Context: Provide a sentence or two explaining the importance of the review question.
2) Objective:State the precise primary objective of the review. Indicate whether the review emphasizes factors such as cause, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy, or prevention and include information about the specific population, intervention, exposure, and tests or outcomes that are being reviewed.
3) Data Sources: Succinctly summarize data sources, including years searched. Include in the search the most current information possible, ideally conducting the search several months before the date of manuscript submission. Potential sources include computerized databases and published indexes, registries, abstract booklets, conference proceedings, references identified from bibliographies of pertinent articles and books, experts or research institutions active in the field, and companies or manufacturers of tests or agents being reviewed. If a bibliographic database is used, state the exact indexing terms used for article retrieval, including any constraints (for example, English language or human subjects). If abstract space does not permit this level of detail, summarize sources in the abstract including databases and years searched, and place the remainder of the information in the "Methods" section of the text.
4) Study Selection: Describe inclusion and exclusion criteria used to select studies for detailed review from among studies identified as relevant to the topic. Under details of selection include particular populations, interventions, outcomes, or methodological designs. Specify the method used to apply these criteria (for example, blinded review, consensus, multiple reviewers). State the proportion of initially identified studies that met selection criteria.
5) Data Extraction: Describe guidelines used for abstracting data and assessing data quality and validity (such as criteria for causal inference). State the method by which the guidelines were applied (eg, independent extraction by multiple observers).
6) Results:State the main results of the review, whether qualitative or quantitative, and outline the methods used to obtain these results. For meta-analyses, state the major outcomes that were pooled and include odds ratios or effect sizes and, if possible, sensitivity analyses. Accompany numerical results by confidence intervals, if applicable, and exact levels of statistical significance. For evaluations of screening and diagnostic tests, include sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, receiver operating characteristic curves, and predictive values. For assessments of prognosis, summarize survival characteristics and related variables. State the major identified sources of variation between studies, including differences in treatment protocols, protocols, co-interventions, confounders, outcome measures, length of follow-up, and dropout rates.
7) Conclusions: Clearly state the conclusions and their applications (clinical or otherwise), limiting interpretation to the domain of the review.
Systematic reviews are welcome. They should be critical assessments of current evidence covering a broad range of topics of concern to those working in the specfic field of journal. Systematic reviews abstracts to be structured as above. N.B. For advice on writing systematic reviews consult: The Cochrane Reviewers' Handbook
Meta-analysis of observational studies: A MOOSE checklist is required for meta-analysis of observational studies