Online tools supporting the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews and systematic maps: a case study on CADIMA and review of existing tools

2020-03-04 connect evidence-informed decision-making learns publication systematic reviews

Systematic reviews and systematic maps represent powerful tools to identify, collect, evaluate and summarise primary research pertinent to a specifc research question or topic in a highly standardised and reproducible manner. Even though they are seen as the “gold standard” when synthesising primary research, systematic reviews and maps are typically resource-intensive and complex activities. Thus, managing the conduct and reporting of such reviews can become a time consuming and challenging task. This paper introduces the open access online tool CADIMA, which was developed through a collaboration between the Julius Kühn-Institut and the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, in order to increase the efciency of the evidence synthesis process and facilitate reporting of all activities to maximise methodological rigour. Furthermore, we analyse how CADIMA compares with other available tools by providing a comprehensive summary of existing software designed for the purposes of systematic review management. We show that CADIMA is the only available open access tool that is designed to: (1) assist throughout the systematic review/map process; (2) be suited to reviews broader than medical sciences; (3) allow for ofine data extraction; and, (4) support working as a review team.