KTDRR and Campbell Collaboration Research Evidence Training:
Management/Analysis Tools for Reviews

About the Webcast

The KTDRR Center and the international Campbell Collaboration are working together to offer a five-part training course that focuses on high-quality methods for synthesis of evidence, including the procedures and methods for conducting systematic reviews/research syntheses as well as software, tools, and strategies for analyzing and reporting data. The training materials are developed by representatives of the Campbell Collaboration. Online resources from various national and international organizations will be provided for each session.

In the third session, Management/Analysis Tools for Reviews, representatives from several organizations introduce software to help manage systematic reviews:

  • EPPI-Reviewer (from the EPPI-Centre, UCL Institute of Education, University College London): EPPI-Reviewer is a flexible web-based platform for conducting a wide range of systematic reviews. This presentation introduces the principles that underpin its design and development, outlines some of the main features in the new version that was launched in January 2019, and describes some of its new machine learning and natural language processing capabilities. There is currently great interest in automating parts of the systematic review process, and EPPI-Reviewer contains many of these emerging technologies. The presentation concludes with a look at what we can expect to emerge in the future to make systematic reviews more efficient.

  • Abstrackr (from the Center for Evidence Synthesis in Health, Brown University School of Public Health): The presentation describes features of Abstrackr, an open-source, web-based and publicly-accessible platform for managing the logistics of title and abstract-based screening of citations for systematic reviews. It will also describe Abstrackr’s machine learning functionality, which can semi-automate citation screening. The presentation finishes with a preview of the new version of Abstrackr and explains where it fits in an emerging platform of web-based tools for facilitating systematic review conduct, analysis, and reporting.

  • Covidence (a not-for-profit service working in partnership with The Cochrane Collaboration to improve the production and use of systematic reviews for health and wellbeing): Covidence is a web-based collaboration software platform that streamlines the production of systematic reviews, supporting citation screening, full text review of references, and a number of other processes relevant to the systematic review of scientific literature. This presentation will provide an overview of the platform's functions and features, and examples of how academic institutions are using Covidence to improve efficiency and quality.

  • Rayyan (from Rayyan QCRI and McGill University Library): Developed at Qatar Computing Research Institute (Data Analytics), Rayyan is a 100% FREE web application designed to help researchers working on systematic reviews and other knowledge synthesis projects, and dramatically speeds up the process of screening and selecting studies, assigning inclusion and exclusion criteria, and recording the numerical results of this screening for inclusion in PRISMA diagrams.

View the Archive

  1. This webcast originally aired on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The archive will be available soon.

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About the Presenters

Photo of Dr. James Thomas

Dr. James Thomas is Professor of Social Research & Policy at the EPPI-Centre, UCL in London. His research covers substantive disciplinary fields, such as public health and education, and also computer and information science. He has written extensively on research synthesis, including methods for combining qualitative and quantitative research in reviews, and leads the Systematic Reviews Facility for the Department of Health, England. His activities in computer science include implementing novel technologies and processes (including machine learning and crowdsourcing) to improve the efficiency of systematic reviews; and leading development of EPPI-Reviewer, software which manages data through all stages of a systematic review.


Photo of Dr. Ethan Balk

Dr. Ethan Balk is an Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy & Practice at Brown University’s School of Public Health. An internist by training, he has done extensive applied and methodological research in systematic review and meta-analysis.


Photo of Nancy Owens

Nancy Owens is Covidence's Head of Community Management, responsible for a team providing support to our global community of enthusiastic and engaged users. She has more than two decades of varied professional experience across the corporate, academic, and non-profit sectors, primarily focused in evidence-based health research, publication, and dissemination.


Photo of Martin Morris

Martin Morris joined the Library at McGill University in Montréal, Canada in 2012, where he holds the rank of Associate Librarian. He serves as a health sciences liaison to the Faculty of Dentistry, in the indigenous health program, and to various other departments. His current principal research interest is the improvement of library services to traditionally underserved communities, particularly LGBTQ communities, and with a strong focus on health sciences librarianship. He has also published on knowledge synthesis, and the spread of innovations in library information settings, and is a winner of the Medical Library Association’s 2019 Ida and George Eliot Prize.