What you need to know about improvements to data management in RevMan

What you need to know about improvements to data management in RevMan

Cochrane has now fully upgraded to RevMan Web, meaning RevMan 5, the desktop version, is no longer available.  Authors now have access to a new data management feature – study centric data - when creating new reviews. For ongoing protocols and reviews, switching this feature on is simple and can be done yourself.

Overview of study centric data

With study centric data, authors set up their review’s inclusion criteria and analyses within RevMan in advance (protocol stage) to facilitate data extraction and automatically populate their analyses.  

It enables authors to work smarter in RevMan. Authors invest more time earlier in the review process to streamline the later analyses stages. This facilitates better defined and more focused reviews, with clearer criteria for the review and planned syntheses. 

Chapters 2, 3 and 9 of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, and the Intervention Synthesis Questions (InSynQ) checklist (in development), provide the methods that underpin study centric data. These relate to defining the criteria for including studies (PICO criteria for the review) and defining criteria for how studies will be grouped for synthesis (PICO criteria for synthesis questions).

Study centric data has been in development for over two years and has been piloted with multiple author teams.

Work Smarter

Benefits of study centric data

  • Structure your analyses from the outset: Our tool helps authors be more systematic in predefining their analyses, ensuring that decisions are not driven by what is reported in the included studies.
  • Simple imports and exports: Study characteristics, results data, and risk of bias assessments can be easily transferred into and out of RevMan. You can also export your data for reuse in other Cochrane Reviews or other statistical software.
  • Save time and prevent errors: Data input and reuse become a breeze as you enter your study results in one place. You can then use the data for different analyses, including for subgroup and sensitivity analyses. This minimizes data entry errors.
  • Multiple levels of analysis: With the ability to subgroup and filter for sensitivity analyses based on specific study characteristics, interpretation of results is a breeze. You can investigate both broader and narrower synthesis questions based on different levels of intervention granularity.
  • Automatic arm-level to contrast-level data transformation: For data that has been collected at the arm level, RevMan automatically transforms to contrast-level data if that’s what you want for certain analyses.
  • Increased impact with downloadable data: Our tool offers a new downloadable data package that comes with published Cochrane Reviews. This opens up opportunities for collaboration, reduces research waste and makes systematic reviewing more efficient.

How can I find out more?

The study centric data management and analysis collection on Cochrane Training is a one-stop shop for all the links and resources related to study centric data. It provides links to RevMan Web knowledge base, webinar sessions and recordings, self-guided training materials, and other resources.

Workshops and sessions  at the 2023 Cochrane Colloquium:

  • Unlocking innovations for sharing and using Cochrane content with study centric data management and a focused review article
  • How to plan and implement synthesis questions (part 1): using the InSynQ checklist and guide for question development
  • How to plan and implement synthesis questions (part 2): Implementing PICO in RevMan to streamline data extraction and analyses
  • Maximizing the potential of data associated with Cochrane Reviews: Opportunities and future directions for the new review data package

What next?

The use of study centric data is one part of the changes happening in 2023 related to Cochrane review and data formats. These changes will create a strong foundation for Cochrane Reviews so we can innovate in how we share and use Cochrane evidence. Overall, they have the potential to make Cochrane Reviews more focused and make systematic reviewing more efficient, enabling us to better meet our stakeholders’ needs. We’re going to be agile and developments will be iterative so we can ensure they support the best experience possible for those involved in systematic reviewing. We look forward to sharing more news about other upcoming changes.

Find out more

9 May 2023