…it became requisite to exhibit a full and impartial view of what had hitherto been published on the scurvy, and that in a chronological order, by which the sources of these mistakes may be detected.
James Lind, A Treatise of the Scurvy, 1753
Systematic reviews of evidence should not bestow the confidence to perpetrate other people's mistakes. Rather, they should encourage the search for new, better and richer evidence.
• The evidence you have is not always what you want.
• The evidence you want is not always what you need.
• The evidence you need is not always what you can obtain.
Paraphrasing Fenagle (1977) 1