An online database and desktop assessment software to simplify systematic reviews in environmental science

J. Angus Webb, Kimberly Miller, Michael Stewardson, Siobhan De Little, Sue NICHOLS, Stephen Wealands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We describe software to facilitate systematic reviews in environmental science. Eco Evidence allows reviewers to draw strong conclusions from a collection of individually-weak studies. It consists of two components. An online database stores and shares the atomized findings of previously-published research. A desktop analysis tool synthesizes this evidence to test cause-effect hypotheses. The software produces a standardized report, maximizing transparency and repeatability. We illustrate evidence extraction and synthesis. Environmental research is hampered by the complexity of natural environments, and difficulty with performing experiments in such systems. Under these constraints, systematic syntheses of the rapidly-expanding literature can advance ecological understanding, inform environmental management, and identify knowledge gaps and priorities for future research. Eco Evidence, and in particular its online re-usable bank of evidence, reduces the workload involved in systematic reviews. This is the first systematic review software for environmental science, and opens the way for increased uptake of this powerful approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Volume64
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015

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