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HomeHomeEPPI-Reviewer 4...EPPI-Reviewer 4...Forum announcem...Forum announcem...Latest Changes (21/06/2021 - V Changes (21/06/2021 - V
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21/06/2021 12:59

Version is an update focussed on "reporting" features for EPPI-Reviewer Web; it also includes some significant improvements for EPPI-Visualiser. In EPPI-Reviewer Web, it is now possible to create and edit "configurable reports"; at the same time, the "frequencies" and "crosstabs" functionalities have been significantly improved and are now "consolidated" in a unified interface. EPPI-Visualiser acquired the ability to "browse" any list of items while remaining in the "item details" page, moreover it now allows to fully personalise each "visualisation" by placing your own logo of choice on the top left corner. As usual, this release also contains a range of small improvements and bugfixes.

EPPI-Visualiser: new features

The logo on the top left corner is now "customisable". The setup area (in EPPI-Reviewer Web) allows to upload an image to be used as the "always visible" logo on the top left of all pages within a given visualisation. If no such image is provided, the EPPI Centre logo will be shown instead. This change allows to fully customise the branding for a visualisation since the top left logo is shown in all pages, unlike the two other images, which show only in a visualisation home page.

Browsing items: the "Item details" page shows a single bibliographic record in full, along with all its (published) coding data. Until now, however, this page was a dead end which made it somewhat difficult to return to the underlying list of references, thus making "data exploration" quite cumbersome. With this release, in the "Item details" page, it is now possible to browse between references belonging to the same list (or to be precise: belonging to the same page of any given list) and to return to the original list, at any time.

EPPI-Reviewer Web: New "Reports" tab

Frequencies and Crosstabs are conceptually "similar" features: they report "counts" based on one (frequencies) or two (crosstabs) dimensions. Thus, their conceptual similarity allows to "unify" the two features into a unique user interface, which should thus become faster to use. For this reason, and to "make space" for new upcoming features, we have "merged" Frequencies and Crosstabs. They now appear in a tab called "Reports". In the same tab it is also possible to create, edit and run "Configurable Reports". More details about the features available in this tab are below.

EPPI-Reviewer Web: Frequencies

Running frequencies reports and accessing the corresponding lists of item is an extremely common activity in EPPI-Reviewer. This release significantly improves the existing functionality, both in terms of what's possible and in terms of speed/ease of use. The list of improvements is:

  • Until now, it was possible to obtain a frequency report while considering only items marked as "Included" (refers to the "I" for "Included" flag, in the items list) or "Excluded" ("E" flag), but not both. Upon popular demand, Frequencies can now be collected for items marked as "Included", "Excluded" or "Both" (which is the new default).
  • In the "Codes" panel, there is now a new "Frequencies" button that becomes "enabled" whenever the selected node in the coding-tools contains one or more child codes. Clicking it will automatically fetch the corresponding frequencies report with the "Both" (default) option, while opening the "Reports" tab.
  • The unified user interface with crosstabs (see below) offers a new "get frequencies" button to the side of the "set (rows)" button, allowing to "fetch" frequencies faster (removes the need to point and click across the screen).
  • Frequencies results can now be natively exported to an Excel file (which includes the IDs of the corresponding codes).

EPPI-Reviewer Web: Crosstabs

Besides "unifying" the user interface with frequencies (which allows to "explore" the data in a much more efficient manner), this version also includes a brand new "data access" layer for crosstabs, which significantly expands what is possible to achieve:

  • Until now, crosstabs could not distinguish between items marked as "Included" ("I" for "Included" flag) or "Excluded" ("E" flag) and always produced results by looking at both. It is now possible to obtain crosstabs only for Included items, only for Excluded items or Both (which "remains" the default option).
  • Crosstabs and the corresponding lists of items now use new, "optimised" data access queries. These provide a significant speed advantage when running in medium sized reviews or larger (10K items or more), while not much changed in terms of speed, when considering smaller datasets.
  • Crosstabs now produce an additional last row and last column, listing "none of..." results. We believe these can be really useful, but can be confusing at first. The cells in the "none of the above" row list items that do have the code for the current column, but have none of the codes listed by the rows. Similarly the "none of these" cells list all items with the code from the respective row, but none of the codes from the columns.
  • Crosstab results can now be exported to native Excel files.

EPPI-Reviewer Web: Configurable reports

In the reports tab it's now possible to switch between the "frequencies and crosstabs" view, to the "configurable reports" one. This can be used to create and edit configurable reports. Until now, creating and editing configurable reports was only possible in version 4.
We wrote the new interface to "design" configurable reports in a way that we hope makes their extreme flexibility both more accessible, visible and less overwhelming. Most options are available with a minimum amount of clicks and hopefully, the "effect" of different settings is also clearer already in the "design" phase. Unlike in EPPI-Reviewer 4, the interface to edit configurable reports does not support drag and drop, but instead expects users to "activate/select" a code from the "Codes" column and then click on the "+" (Add) button, for the desired column.
To aid the iterative process of designing, running and refining configurable reports, the report tab also allows to "run" configurable reports. Please note that it is necessary to "save" the changes done to a report, in order to "see" their effect when running the edited report. Unlike many other functionalities of EPPI-Reviewer, changes to the structure of configurable reports are not saved automatically, but require to explicitly click on the "Save" button(s).

Other changes (EPPI-Reviewer Web)

Configurable reports (horizontal). When running a configurable report in the "horizontal" (default) mode, the results are presented in a table, which can be saved and readily imported into Excel. However, whenever a cell contains more than one line of text, Excel had the annoying habit of creating multiple "rows" and then "merge" cells "dynamically", in a way that made it extremely time consuming to analyse the results directly in Excel. With this release, the report results obtained via EPPI-Reviewer Web are now "immune" from this problem, while unfortunately it was not possible to ensure the same applies for results obtained via version 4.

Enhancement (both versions): importing MAG search results. When importing search results from the Search tab in the Microsoft Academic pages, it is useful to automatically retain a record of what version of the MAG database was used, this is especially important for "review updating" and/or "living systematic review" scenarios. For this reason, the "MAG version" is now automatically added to the "source" name when search results are imported. This applies to both versions.

Bugfix: deduplication. "Getting new duplicates" could systematically fail if some of the possible duplicates had extremely long abstracts (60-70 thousand characters and above). In some (rare) cases, such long abstracts triggered a subroutine that would "run out of memory" when evaluating the difference between two such extremely long abstracts. This in turn systematically prevented the "get new duplicates" phase from completing. This problem is now solved.


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