Rapid reviews and Covid-19

The crisis of Covid-19 has seen an explosion of rapid reviews. Has the pandemic seen the final acceptance of rapid reviews?

This blog was started at the end of 2015 and in the space of five years has seen a dramatic change in fortune/position of rapid reviews. Many of the most critical voices are now actively embracing them. This is broadly great, but the slight downside of that is they are also trying to codify, control and constrain – sometimes, and possibly accidentally, for the better. Also, most are focusing on the process side of things which leaves out the outcome approach as the great untapped domain (see Different approaches to rapidity)

There have been a number of papers/approaches to rapid reviews covering Covid-19, here are a handful:

Rapid review methods more challenging during COVID-19: commentary with a focus on 8 knowledge synthesis steps

A QuESt for speed: rapid qualitative evidence syntheses as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid reviews: A critical perspective (unfortunately behind a paywall)

Choose your shortcuts wisely: COVID-19 rapid reviews of traditional, complementary and integrative medicine

I was intrigued to see Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 is an open-access journal, although on closer inspection it’s about rapid peer-review! If you’re interested in rapid reviews you’re no doubt aware of publishers such as NICE, Cochrane, PHE (to name a few) who have adopted the approach.

2020 has been a strange year with the widespread adoption of rapid review being a rare ray of light


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