Study concept and design: Kasenda, von Elm, Blümle, Saccilotto, Mertz, Burnand, Bucher, Guyatt, Briel.
Acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: Kasenda, von Elm, Carrasco-Labra, Johnston, Briel.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Kasenda, von Elm, You, Blümle, Tomonaga, Saccilotto, Amstutz, Bengough, Meerphohl, Stegert, Tikkinen, Neumann, Faulhaber, Mulla, Mertz, Akl, Bassler, Busse, Ferreira-González, Lamontagne, Nordmann, Gloy, Raatz, Moja, Rosenthal, Ebrahim, Schandelmaier, Xin, Vandvik, Johnston, Walter, Burnand, Schwenkglenks, Hemkens, Bucher, Guyatt.
Statistical analysis: Kasenda.
Obtained funding: von Elm, Blümle, Bucher, Briel.
Administrative, technical, and material support: Kasenda, Blümle, Tomonaga, Saccilotto, Bengough, Stegert, Neumann, Carrasco-Labra, Faulhaber, Mertz, Nordmann, Gloy, Moja, Walter, Schwenkglenks, Hemkens.
Study supervision: von Elm, Ferreira-González, Burnand, Schwenkglenks, Guyatt, Briel.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.
Funding/Support: This study was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant 320030_133540/1) and the German Research Foundation (grant EL 544/1-2). During study preparation, Dr von Elm was supported by the Brocher Foundation. Dr You is supported by a Reseach Early Career Award from Hamilton Health Sciences. Dr Tikkinen is funded by unrestricted grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Finnish Medical Foundation. Dr Mertz is a recipient of a Research Early Career Award from Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation (Jack Hirsh Fellowship). Dr Busse is funded by a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation. Drs Nordmann, Gloy, Raatz, Hemkens, Bucher, and Briel are supported by Santésuisse and the Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner-Foundation.
Role of the Sponsors: The Swiss National Science Foundation, the German Research Foundation, and the Brocher Foundation had no role in the design and conduct of the study; the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Previous Presentation: Presented at the Seventh International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication; September 8-10, 2013; Chicago, IL.
Additional Contributions: We would like to thank the presidents and staff of participating research ethics committees from Switzerland (Basel, Lausanne, Zurich, Lucerne), Germany (Freiburg), and Canada (Hamilton, Ontario) for their continuous support and cooperation.
Correction: This article was corrected online March 11, 2014, for missing statement of equal contributorship.