ProjectsTechnology research & development
Technology research & development

Contact: James Thomas

There are several areas of research and development activity concerning the use of technology in our research processes; three of our main projects in this area are listed below.

Identifying relevant studies for systematic reviews and health technology assessments using text mining

The specificity of sensitive electronic searches of bibliographic databases to find studies for inclusion in systematic reviews is typically low. Reviewers often need to look manually through many thousands of irrelevant titles and abstracts to identify the much smaller number of relevant ones a process known as 'screening'. Given that an experienced reviewer can take between 30 seconds and several minutes to evaluate a citation, the work involved in screening 10,000 citations is considerable (and the burden of screening is sometimes considerably higher than this). This MRC-funded project is developing and evaluating methods for using text mining to automate some of this laborious work.

Publications resulting from this work

O’Mara-Eves A, Thomas J, McNaught J, Miwa M, Ananiadou S (2015) Using text mining for study identification in systematic reviews: a systematic review of current approaches. Systematic Reviews 4:5. doi:10.1186/2046-4053-4-5
We would like to encourage you to contact us if you have data that we could use; might like to participate in our study with a 'live' review; or would like to hear more about this work.

Cochrane: Project Transform

We are co-leads of the Cochrane Transform project with Monash University. The project goal is to improve significantly the long-term value and sustainability of Cochrane by piloting, refining, and scaling up innovations in content  production, within the framework of Strategy to 2020 and in collaboration with other Cochrane projects. Please see the project website for further information.

EPPI Reviewer: software for systematic reviews

Our EPPI Reviewer software has been a long-standing area of technology research and development. It aims to be an end-to-end solution for all types of systematic review, managing data from citation screening through to synthesis. Recent developments include the incorporation of text mining to support citation screening, and the statistical software 'R' at the 'back end' to facilitate advanced statistical analyses. Further information about the software is available on the EPPI-Reviewer Gateway.

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