EPPI-Reviewer is an online software application which supports authors in writing all types of systematic reviews, including meta-analysis, framework synthesis, and thematic synthesis.

What is EPPI-Reviewer?

EPPI-Reviewer is an online software application which supports authors in writing all types of systematic reviews, including meta-analysis, framework synthesis and thematic synthesis. Its features include:

  • Reference management
  • The storage, annotation and coding of PDF files
  • Concurrent independent extraction of data
  • Qualitative and quantitative analytical functions
  • Configurable reports for querying and presenting data in user-defined ways
  • Easy export of review data to facilitate use with other software applications

It also contains features to make reviewing more efficient, such as text mining for study identification, automatic text translation, and workload allocation functions.

How EPPI-Reviewer will contribute to Cochrane reviews

The EPPI-Reviewer tool will ensure that reviews in complex areas are sufficiently supported by Cochrane information systems, including support for reviews using methodologies that are ‘advanced’ or still under development. As complex reviews require a high degree of flexibility in terms of the software that supports them, this software will offer, for example, a choice of different data extraction and critical appraisal tools for different types of study, depending on the needs of specific reviews. Since tools and methods for these reviews are in constant development, EPPI-Reviewer has been designed to accommodate these changes, and enable users to customise tools when necessary.

Analytical demands vary across complex reviews, with methods ranging from the statistical, through qualitative comparative analysis, to thematic and framework synthesis. EPPI-Reviewer facilitates ‘qualitative’ synthesis through, for example, support for the line-by-line coding of pdf files. In order to fully support the range of quantitative analyses that might be required in Cochrane reviews in the future, the EPPI-Reviewer team is currently working on integrating support for ‘R’, the statistical language, and make its meta-analytical functions available online. This will facilitate the use of standard meta-analytic models and meta-regression, as well as more recent developments such as multilevel, multivariate and network meta-analysis. Available online, Documentation on some of these planned features.

What is stored in EPPI-Reviewer?

The EPPI-Reviewer team is currently working with the CAST partners to comprehensively integrate EPPI-Reviewer into the Cochrane information management system. Once the work is complete, review authors will be able to log into EPPI-Reviewer via Archie and exchange review and study data with CRS-D and Covidence.

While EPPI-Reviewer will store ‘working’ data, CRS-D will be the main source of study-level data (such as study characteristics and extracted data). Archie, which is the ‘Review Database’ will be the store of review-level data, including meta-analysis results.

How do I access EPPI-Reviewer?

EPPI-Reviewer has been available online since 2000, but will soon be available through Cochrane systems for registered Cochrane authors to use. Further information on EPPI-Reviewer is available on the EPPI-Reviewer website.

EPPI-Reviewer is developed and maintained by the EPPI-Centre at the Social Science Research Unit of the UCL Institute of Education, University of London, UK. To find out more about the work of the EPPI-Centre as well as information about how to do systematic reviews, please visit our website