Computer Programs for Semi-Automation of Evidence Synthesis

Presented by

Dr. Farhad Shokraneh, Research Fellow School of Medicine, University of Nottingham

About this talk

While all types of literature review are becoming reasonably more attractive for students, researchers, practitioners and policy makers the workload involved in all types of evidence synthesis should not be underestimated. Apart from standardization of procedures and methods, many organizations and collaborations started using computers to reduce the workload and save time in processing all types of reviews. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses, scoping reviews, rapid reviews, overviews, and realist reviews are only some members of review family that can benefit from using computer programs. The research, innovations, discussions, and skepticism around and surrounding the automation became so important that some of automation pioneers started International Collaboration for Automation of Systematic Reviews (ICASR) The current webinar will also benefit the outcome of ICASR annual meetings. Despite emergence and listing of hundreds of tools in Systematic Review Toolbox (, these software programs are underused. This webinar will introduce some of these programs alongside the evidence supporting their use and will provide a guide on how to choose the program, when to use them, what are their advantages and disadvantages, and why we should use them. There are automation tools for searching, screening, extracting data, analysis, and report writing. The presentation will also discuss the reasons for underusing problem and its solutions and will justify the fact that automation of evidence synthesis is still an idealist dream and why semi-automation of evidence synthesis is more realistic horizon for in the next decades. About the speaker: Farhad is an expert in systematic review (SR) methodology and automation, and manages the largest database (over 340 SRs) of schizophrenia trials. He uses Embase to provide search and consultancy to academicians, industry, clinicians and policy making teams around the world.
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