The development of software to support multiple systematic review types: the Joanna Briggs Institute System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (JBI SUMARI)

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Abstract

Aim:

Systematic reviews play an important role in ensuring trustworthy recommendations in healthcare. However, systematic reviews can be laborious to undertake and as such software has been developed to assist in the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews. The Joanna Briggs Institute and its collaborating centres consist of thousands of researchers, academics and clinicians across the globe conducting systematic reviews of various types. To support them in their work, modern software and online tools are required. Our aim was to develop a software program to support systematic reviewers across the globe.

Methods:

A working party was formed with extensive consultation with members of the Joanna Briggs Collaboration focusing on ideal features of a software program to support systematic reviews. The new systematic review software was built using an agile methodology and designed to be a modern web application.

Results:

The new systematic review software, the Joanna Briggs Institute System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (JBI SUMARI), was successfully developed through an iterative process of development, feedback, testing and review. The software is now available (https://www.jbisumari.org/) and supports the entire systematic review process for different types of systematic reviews.

Conclusions:

An agile software development approach combined with wide consultation and user testing can facilitate systematic review software design and development. This new software can support systematic reviews and guideline developers to create systematic reviews for a diverse range of questions.

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