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Do peer reviewers or editors address the literature search methods and strategies underpinning systematic reviews: a review of submitted manuscripts and, their associated peer review reports and editorial comments and decisions in the BMJ and BMJ Open between 2020-2021


Data protection

Data protection regulation requires that we state the legal basis for processing information about you.  In the case of research, this is ‘a task in the public interest.’ The University of Oxford who is the sponsor for this research project, based in the United Kingdom, is the joint data controller alongside BMJ Publishing Group Limited and is responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. 

We will be using information that has been collected by BMJ Publishing Group Limited in order to undertake this study and will use the minimum personally-identifiable information possible. We will only keep identifiable information about you for the duration of the research project.


Who has access to your data?

Access to your data within the University will be provided to those who need to view it as part of their work in carrying out the research project described above.

We will store your data on Microsoft OneDrive who provide service to us. Microsoft are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your data in line with our policies. We do not allow them to use your data for their own purposes. We permit them to process your data only for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

Where we share your data with a third party, we will seek to share the minimum amount necessary.


Retaining your data

All directly identifiable information will be redacted from the research data by the Principal Investigator before the research analysis is carried out. We will keep the data in pseudonymous format for the duration of the research project up until the publication of results. This is to ensure that the purpose of the research project is met and to ensure the any questions that are raised at the publication review stage can be satisfied. We estimate that it will take around three and a half years from the data being pseudonymised to the publication of results.



Your data will be held securely in accordance with the University’s policies and procedures. Further information is available on the University’s Information Security website.


Where we store and use your data

We store and use your data within the UK in electronic form. 


Your rights

Information on your rights in relation to your personal data are explained here and specific information about rights related to research participants can be found here.



If you wish to raise any queries or concerns about our use of your data, please contact the University of Oxford Data Protection Officer at or by post at University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD. We will seek to deal with your request without undue delay, and in any event in accordance with the requirements of the GDPR. If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the ICO at