Reaching the end of 2011, this issue of the Journal of Evidence Based Medicine contains a rich variety of material from around the world, with articles from England, Malaysia, the Philippines as well as China, and contributions from the authors of Cochrane reviews in Denmark and Australia.

We write this editorial at the time of another major earthquake, this time in Van in Turkey, but with a much lower loss of life than other natural disasters we have featured in previous issues of the Journal. It raises once again the importance of reliable evidence to inform those working in disaster risk reduction, planning and response and we are pleased to report that Evidence Aid's First Conference took place in Oxford England in September, with a follow-up meeting during the Cochrane Colloquium in Madrid Spain in October. We hope to bring you a report of the outcome of those meetings in our first issue of 2012.

Returning to this issue, Julie Burrett and Daniel Lunn from the University of Oxford in England analyze a large cohort of randomised trials of treatments for childhood leukaemia; examining factors which might have influenced the timing and prominence of the reporting of the findings of the trials. This sits neatly alongside a look back at the joint statement for promoting publication ethics in medical journals in China, which first appeared five years ago. Other aspects of trial quality and the risk of bias are explored by Cho Naing, Syed Shahzad Hasan and Kyan Aung who report the effect of removing studies without allocation concealment from three existing Cochrane Reviews.

This issue also includes reports for some new systematic reviews, with one examining the evidence for the cuff-leak test as a means of predicting airway complications after the removal of an intubation tube and another comparing different types of glipizides in type 2 diabetes. A new study from Sichuan University in China investigates laparoscopy-assisted versus open radical gastrectomy for patients with gastric cancer. And, at the much broader level of health systems and health research, Manu Rani, Hendrik Bekedam and Brian Buckley report on a World Health Organisation expert consultation into the improvement of health research governance and management in the Western Pacific.