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[Correspondence] Systematic reviews and research waste

We share Ian Roberts’ and Katharine Ker’s frustration with the poor quality of much research (Oct 17, p 1536),1 and we are pleased that they agree in principle that waste could be avoided if all research was preceded by a systematic assessment of existing evidence. However, by dismissing systematic reviews they ignore both the contribution of systematic reviews to specific clinical research questions, and their broader role in improving our understanding of better research design and practice.