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English-Language Restriction When Conducting Systematic Review-based Meta-analyses: Systematic Review of Published Studies

Last updated: February 24, 2009
Result type: Report

The English language is generally perceived to be the universal language of science.1,2 The top 10 international medical journals in 11 medical specialties (measured by impact factor) are English-language publications.3 The exclusive reliance, however, on data that are published in English and that are used as the basis of systematic reviews of health care interventions may not result in an accurate representation of existing evidence. Excluding languages other than English (LOE) may lead to erroneous conclusions, because a language bias is introduced.