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01.12.2018 | Commentary | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Systematic Reviews 1/2018

Moving toward the automation of the systematic review process: a summary of discussions at the second meeting of International Collaboration for the Automation of Systematic Reviews (ICASR)

Zeitschrift:
Systematic Reviews > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Annette M. O’Connor, Guy Tsafnat, Stephen B. Gilbert, Kristina A. Thayer, Mary S. Wolfe

Abstract

The second meeting of the International Collaboration for Automation of Systematic Reviews (ICASR) was held 3–4 October 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. ICASR is an interdisciplinary group whose aim is to maximize the use of technology for conducting rapid, accurate, and efficient systematic reviews of scientific evidence. Having automated tools for systematic review should enable more transparent and timely review, maximizing the potential for identifying and translating research findings to practical application. The meeting brought together multiple stakeholder groups including users of summarized research, methodologists who explore production processes and systematic review quality, and technologists such as software developers, statisticians, and vendors. This diversity of participants was intended to ensure effective communication with numerous stakeholders about progress toward automation of systematic reviews and stimulate discussion about potential solutions to identified challenges. The meeting highlighted challenges, both simple and complex, and raised awareness among participants about ongoing efforts by various stakeholders. An outcome of this forum was to identify several short-term projects that participants felt would advance the automation of tasks in the systematic review workflow including (1) fostering better understanding about available tools, (2) developing validated datasets for testing new tools, (3) determining a standard method to facilitate interoperability of tools such as through an application programming interface or API, and (4) establishing criteria to evaluate the quality of tools’ output. ICASR 2016 provided a beneficial forum to foster focused discussion about tool development and resources and reconfirm ICASR members’ commitment toward systematic reviews’ automation.
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