Received Mar; Accepted Aug. This paper will provide a description of the methods, skills, and knowledge of expert searchers working on systematic review teams.
Received Aug 6; Accepted Nov This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Abstract Background Reference management software programs enable researchers to more easily organize and manage large volumes of references typically identified during the production of systematic reviews.
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which authors are using reference management software to produce systematic reviews; identify which programs are used most frequently and rate their ease of use; and assess the degree to which software usage is documented in published studies.
Methods We reviewed the full text of systematic reviews published in core clinical journals indexed in ACP Journal Club from to November to determine the extent to which reference management software usage is reported in published reviews.
We surveyed corresponding authors to verify and supplement information in published reports, and gather frequency and ease-of-use data on individual reference management programs.
Results Of the 78 researchers who responded to our survey, Comments with respect to ease-of-use issues focused on the integration of this software with other programs and computer interfaces, and the sharing of reference databases among researchers.
Conclusions Despite underreporting of use, reference management software is frequently adopted by authors of systematic reviews. The transparency, reproducibility and quality of systematic reviews may be enhanced through increased reporting of reference management software usage.
Meta-analysis, Systematic reviews, Data collection, Databases, Bibliographic, Software, Reference management software Background Various software programs have been adopted by, and specifically developed for, authors of systematic reviews.
First developed in the s, these programs were initially marketed to researchers as a means of creating online indexes of personal print-article collections [ 2 - 4 ]. As electronic databases, such as MEDLINE, became generally accessible and more easily searchable, researchers began to use this software to maintain databases of all research relevant to their fields of interest [ 3 ].
Numerous reference management programs are currently available. Although all programs facilitate the capture, organization, and elimination of duplicate records from electronic database searching, they vary with respect to cost, overall functionality, and networking capabilities.
Mendeley and Zoteroare available at little or no cost to the user. While some, such as EndNote and Reference Manager, run on single-station computers, many others, including RefWorks, Mendeley and Zotero, are web-based.
Single-station software usage is generally not affected by website time-lags, down times, or record limits, all of which may impinge on the usability of web-based products. That said, the benefits of these web-based programs include the ability to store reference databases on secure servers, and access databases from multiple computers or other electronic devices.
Web-based programs also provide users with enhanced networking functions that readily support the sharing of records among researchers [ 35 ].
The identification, collection, and organization of relevant studies are instrumental to the successful completion of systematic reviews. Many guides to undertaking systematic reviews, including the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, recommend reference management software as a means of assisting in the organization and selection of component studies for inclusion in these reviews [ 67 ].
In the context of systematic reviews, reference management programs facilitate the capture and organization of studies identified through electronic database searching, the identification and elimination of duplicate records from multiple database searches, the transfer of references to Cochrane RevMan and other systematic reviews software, and the accurate citing of references within manuscripts [ 89 ].
Methods We reviewed the full text of systematic reviews published in core clinical journals. We surveyed the corresponding authors of included studies to verify and supplement information in published reports, and gather frequency and ease-of-use data on specific reference management programs.
Study identification We retrieved the full-text reports of all systematic reviews indexed in the ACP Journal Club from to November ACP Journal Club indexes over core clinical journals.
Our decision to study systematic review articles featured in ACP Journal Club relates partially to the clinical importance and visibility of these featured articles. We wanted our study to focus on articles that the scientific community has judged to be important. Systematic reviews indexed in ACP Journal Club must meet standard quality criteria including a clear statement of research, and a description of the methods used to identify and select studies for inclusion in the review.
By restricting our data collection to studies indexed in ACP Journal Club, we recognize that we have been sampling reviews with better-than-average reporting. Studies were included if they were English language systematic reviews or meta-analyses.
Studies were excluded if they were: Data collection We undertook a content analysis of included reviews to identify those authors who had reported on the use of reference management software in their published reviews.
As a counterpoint, we also noted the frequency of reporting of statistical software usage. An Excel form was created to extract the following data from each study: Where authors were listed as corresponding authors in more than one publication, only the most recent study was selected for review.
A survey was emailed to all corresponding authors to compare actual with reported usage, and gather data on specific software programs. The five-item survey asked authors to: Two reminders were sent to corresponding authors at one-month intervals.
Responses to the final open-ended survey question Q 5 were analyzed to identify common themes. Results From a total of systematic reviews identified in ACP Journal Club, authors, representing papers, were included in this study.
Based on eligibility criteria, 41 papers were excluded from this study.Systematic reviews fulfil this need by providing comprehensive and unbiased summaries to rapidly keep abreast of the current information in specific clinical areas.
There are a series of software to facilitate systematic review. One commonly used software is .
Systematic reviews (also known as systematic overviews, evidence summaries, and integrative reviews) use recently developed scientific methods to summarize results from multiple research studies.
This paper will use the term “review” to encompass both systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Systematic reviews were ﬁrst presented to software engineering by Kitchenham  and have since gained an increasing popularity for conducting literature reviews in the ﬁeld [, 5, 82, 47, 48, 92]. DistillerSR systematic review software manages, tracks, and streamlines the screening, data extraction, and reporting processes of your systematic reviews and literature reviews, letting you focus on delivering the best possible evidence-based research, faster.
Background. Various software programs have been adopted by, and specifically developed for, authors of systematic reviews.
These tools range from statistical software to comprehensive systematic reviews programs, such as the Cochrane Collaboration’s Review Manager (RevMan) software.
Searches for systematic reviews need to be constructed to maximize recall and deal effectively with a number of potentially biasing factors. Therefore, librarians who conduct the searches for systematic reviews must be experts.
What follows is a description of the methods, skills, and knowledge of expert searchers working on systematic review teams.