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HomeHomeEPPI-Reviewer 4...EPPI-Reviewer 4...Forum announcem...Forum announcem...Latest Changes (17/01/2024 - V6.15.1.0)Latest Changes (17/01/2024 - V6.15.1.0)
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17/01/2024 16:15

Version 6/ is a small release in functionality terms; however, it is an important release, as it marks the start of the phasing out of EPPI Reviewer version 4. In terms of new functionalities, EPPI Visualiser was updated to allow for the creation of direct links to pre-configured maps and to improve the layout when viewed on small screens. Moreover, the contextual help of EPPI Reviewer 6 has been updated and extended too.

Phasing out EPPI Reviewer 4

It is well known that EPPI Reviewer 4 relies on Silverlight, an obsolete technology which directly produces the need and desire of phasing it out. Until very recently, some core functionalities were however not fully implemented in version 6 (formerly known as EPPI Reviewer Web), making it necessary to keep version 4 available and fully functional. This need has now been removed, and therefore we are starting to plan the "phasing out" of EPPI Reviewer 4. In terms of usage, at present, Version 4 is used regularly by a tiny minority of users (estimated around 1-2%) while a somewhat larger proportion of people (another 2-3%) uses it occasionally.
The phasing out process will be slow and managed, thus anyone still relying on Version 4 does not need to panic.
First and foremost, we need to make sure we do understand why people still use the old version. Of course, we do know a lot of concrete reasons to do so, most importantly we know that editing coding tools in much faster in Version 4, so we do plan to close that gap before shutting down Version 4. We are also aware of a vast number of small differences in how things work, which may well explain why some people prefer one version over the other. However, both versions have a very large number of small functionalities created to cater for legitimate and very specific needs - it is thus possible that we're not aware of some real and legitimate reasons why some people find it necessary to use Version 4.
In time, we will learn all these big and small reasons and will then decide how to adapt Version 6 so to cater to the underlying needs. We anticipate this phase to take months, perhaps up to 6. After or during this phase we should be able to identify and publicise the "switch off" date, when EPPI Reviewer 4 will be "permanently decommissioned". In other words, there is plenty of time left, precisely because we have no intention of inconveniencing our users. However, keeping Version 4 up to date (enough to ensure it works correctly) is somewhat costly in terms of development time/effort, so it is clear that we do need to shut it down, sooner or later.

EPPI Reviewer 4, New Functionality: Feedback Form

For these reasons, we wrote a "feedback form" for EPPI Reviewer 4, which is explicitly asking users to tell us why they are using it. The form is located above the "Codes" tab on the main page, and is indeed designed to be very visible. Upon opening a review, the form appears "expanded" for all users, until they use it at least once. Users can close the form to maximise the space available to the coding tools at any time, but upon opening a review, the form will show up expanded again - unless the current user has already answered the question posed therein.
Naturally, people may choose to use Version 4 for multiple reasons, so the form can be used more than once too. It is designed to be hard to miss only until it has been used for the first time.

In all cases, please tell us why you're still using version 4 by using that form specifically, as using the "feedback" function implemented in Version 6 might make it harder for us to collate all feedback appropriately.

EPPI Visualiser: direct links to pre-configured maps

EPPI Vis allows review authors to publish review data and make it explorable in a number of different ways. An important part of that is to predefine evidence maps that display in one page 3 separate "dimension". Sometimes, review authors wish to emphasise such maps and nudge people into consulting them as their starting point to explore the review data. To this aim, EPPI Visualiser now assigns unique URLs to maps, which can be used to access directly each map, without having to pass through the visualisation home page.
Pre configured maps now also show the user-defined map name and description above the map itself. Before this update, this text only appeared in the Visualisation home page.

Inside the "setup visualisations" page of EPPI Reviewer 6, the unique URL for each visualisation is shown, however, the one for maps hasn't surfaced yet - we will make sure it will appear with the next version. In the meantime, if you want to take advantage of this new functionality, please get in touch with us and we'll let you know the URL for each one of your Visualiser maps.

EPPI Visualiser: Improved Layout

On small screens, EPPI Visualiser is not very comfortable to use. This is somewhat inevitable, as its purpose is to show fairly big amounts of information/data in one go; thus, small screens will inevitably look and feel "cramped". However, especially on extremely small screens, there were situations where EPPI Visualiser could become close to impossible to use, depending on where users clicked. We have fixed this problem by making subtle changes to the layout of all EPPI Visualiser pages.

EPPI Reviewer 6: additional contextual help content

Although this release does not contain any new functionality for version 6, during the past few months, and also with this update we kept improving the contextual help contents. New and updated help content includes: Meta Analysis, Setting up Visualisations, creating/editing Arms, Timepoints and Item links, Editing/Importing coding tools, the Coding Only User Interface, Building Models, Duplicate Checking, and much more.

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