Future of evidence ecosystem series: 3. From an evidence synthesis ecosystem to an evidence ecosystem

Philippe Ravaud, Perrine Créquit, Hywel C. Williams, Joerg Meerpohl, Jonathan C. Craig, Isabelle Boutron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The “one-off” approach of systematic reviews is no longer sustainable; we need to move toward producing “living” evidence syntheses (i.e., comprehensive, based on rigorous methods, and up-to-date). This implies rethinking the evidence synthesis ecosystem, its infrastructure, and management. The three distinct production systems—primary research, evidence synthesis, and guideline development—should work together to allow for continuous refreshing of synthesized evidence and guidelines. A new evidence ecosystem, not just focusing on synthesis, should allow for bridging the gaps between evidence synthesis communities, primary researchers, guideline developers, health technology assessment agencies, and health policy authorities. This network of evidence synthesis stakeholders should select relevant clinical questions considered a priority topic. For each question, a multidisciplinary community including researchers, health professionals, guideline developers, policymakers, patients, and methodologists needs to be established and commit to performing the initial evidence synthesis and keeping it up-to-date. Encouraging communities to work together continuously with bidirectional interactions requires greater incentives, rewards, and the involvement of health care policy authorities to optimize resources. A better evidence ecosystem with collaborations and interactions between each partner of the network of evidence synthesis stakeholders should permit living evidence syntheses to justify their status in evidence-informed decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Evidence ecosystem
  • Evidence synthesis ecosystem
  • Living evidence
  • Living evidence synthesis
  • Living guidelines
  • Living meta-analysis
  • Living monitoring of quality
  • Living systematic review
  • Primary research
  • Systematic review


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