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Eur J Orthod. 2016 April; 38(2): 224.
Published online 2016 March 8. doi:  10.1093/ejo/cjw014
PMCID: PMC4914768



We are surprised that our commentary (1) resulted in ill feeling. The commentary was not meant to disparage or otherwise unfairly evaluate the work of the authors, but to give a general overview the methodological challenges when performing systematic reviews.

We want to emphasize that hand searching in relation to systematic reviews is not merely going through the reference lists of selected articles. As per the Cochrane Handbook hand-searching, involves page-by-page examination of actual hard copies of relevant journals and conference proceedings that would not normally be found online (2).

We used the example of the same word, spelled slightly differently (e.g. well being and wellbeing) for the reasons stated, that even with use of very similar wording, the results were different, not that there was an omission or oversight on the part of these authors.

We did not feel that our commentary was unfair or inaccurate and in fact, wrote the commentary to compliment and complement the work of the authors, and regret any feelings of discontent that it may have engendered.


1. Anderson, N.K. and Jayaratne, Y.S. (2015) Methodological challenges when performing a systematic review. European Journal of Orthodontics, 37, 248–250. [PubMed]
2. Handsearching (2011) In Higgins J.P.T. and Green S (eds.), Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration.

Articles from The European Journal of Orthodontics are provided here courtesy of Oxford University Press