The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recently announced a bold step forward to require data generated by interventional clinical trials that are published in its member journals to be responsibly shared with external investigators. The movement toward a clinical research culture that supports data sharing has important implications for the design, conduct, and reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. While data sharing is likely to enhance the science of evidence synthesis, facilitating the identification and inclusion of all relevant research, it will also pose key challenges, such as requiring broader search strategies and more thorough scrutiny of identified research. Furthermore, the adoption of data sharing initiatives by the clinical research community should challenge the community of researchers involved in evidence synthesis to follow suit, including the widespread adoption of systematic review registration, results reporting, and data sharing, to promote transparency and enhance the integrity of the research process.
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