ResourcesToolsEPPI-Reviewer: introduction
EPPI-Reviewer: software for research synthesis

EPPI-Reviewer 4.0 is the next stage of development of our software tool for research synthesis. It is a single or multi-user web-based application for managing and analyzing data for use in research synthesis.

EPPI-Reviewer 4.0 is a completely new program. It was created based on the experiences and feedback of hundreds of users in well over 200 reviews that were carried out using EPPI-Reviewer 3.

Its many functions include:

Reference management

  • Managing the thousands of references that often result from comprehensive searches of electronic databases 
  • Importing references in a wide variety of 'tagged' formats
  • Duplicate checking using 'fuzzy logic'. (Potential duplicates can be checked manually and / or automatically classified as duplicates, depending on how similar they are.)
  • Document storage: store the original document file (such as pdf, doc etc) along with the study record.
  • 'Linked documents': the 'unit of analysis' in a systematic review is usually the study, but there are often multiple publications originating from the same study; ER4 helps reviewers to use the correct 'unit'.
  • Direct access to PubMed through web services. EPPI-Reviewer 4.0 makes use of this capability to allow direct searching and search result data transfer from PubMed.

Study classification and data extraction

  • Flexible coding schemas for classifying studies:
    • Inclusion / exclusion / eligibility criteria;
    • Codes for descriptive 'mapping' of research activity.
    • Codes to capture detailed information about a study.
  • Concurrent multi-user classification: multiple users can classify studies independently and then compare their results; ER4 works throughout this process, producing summary discrepancy reports and an interface to facilitate the process of agreeing final decisions.
  • Bulk application / removal of codes to selected studies 
  • Calculation of common measures of effect (odds ratios, risk ratios, risk differences, standardized mean differences, mean differences) from a variety of statistics (2 x 2 tables, means, standard deviations, confidence intervals, p, t and r values).

Synthesis

  • Running meta-analyses (fixed and random effects models); calculating I-squared and supporting sub-group analyses using analog to the anova
  • A powerful search engine enabling users to search by categories and text and combine searches using Boolean terms 
  • Producing reports of categorical, numeric and textual data in a wide variety of formats from frequency reports, crosstabs and full-text reports, to tabular summary reports and summary statistics of numeric data
  • Text mining functionality. Automatic document clustering, using text mining, is one way of describing the range of studies you have identified at the click of a button. Text mining can assist with searching by identifying significant terms in the documents you have already included.
  • Inductive coding functionality. This allows line by line coding of textual data and organising and structuring these codes graphically into ‘conceptual relationship diagrams to display analytic and descriptive themes found through inductive coding.
  • Fulltext reference searching using the uploaded pdfs.
  • Diagrams to summarise e.g. qualitative syntheses and theories of change for interventions.

Review management

  • The ability to create an unlimited number of non-shareable reviews.
  • Allocation of classification tasks (e.g. screening / data extraction) to individual users.
  • Work progress reporting.
  • Individual reviewer permissions (forthcoming)
  • Review flow charts which update automatically (e.g. with counts of how many studies have been included / excluded according to which criterion).

The only system requirements to run EPPI-Reviewer 4.0 is that you must be connected to the internet and your computer will need to have the free Microsoft Silverlight browser plug-in installed. This plug-in is available for both PCs and Macs and is available here.

You can start using EPPI-Reviewer 4.0 today by signing up for a free one month trial here!

Citing EPPI-Reviewer 4.0:

Thomas J, Brunton J, Graziosi S (2010) EPPI-Reviewer 4.0: software for research synthesis. EPPI-Centre Software. London: Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.

  
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