12. Introduction to RevMan


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Review Manager (RevMan) is the software developed by The Cochrane Collaboration to support systematic reviews. This presentation provides a very brief introduction to its features.

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  • In this session, we’re going to have a close look at Review Manager, or RevMan, the Cochrane Collaboration’s software for producing systematic reviews.
  • You will use RevMan throughout the review process, from writing your protocol all the way through to your statistical analysis and the editorial process.
  • The purpose of this session is to briefly introduce you to RevMan, and also to the Archie database, two important resources that you’ll need to use to write and submit your Cochrane review for publication. I’ll show you how to access them, the role of each one, and how the two are related. Following this I’ll go through some of the main features of RevMan. Both RevMan and Archie are developed by the Cochrane Information Management System, based at the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark. More detailed information can be found on their website, including user documentation, presentations, news about coming features, and a place to submit suggestions for improvements.
  • As I’ve said, RevMan is the Cochrane Collaboration’s software for writing systematic reviews. You must use RevMan to write your review, as RevMan is also used to submit your review for editorial review and publishing. RevMan is available to download free of charge from the IMS website, as listed on this slide, and is free for Cochrane authors and academic use. Information is available on the website for anyone who wants to use RevMan for a commercial purpose. We’ll talk about RevMan in more detail in a few minutes, but before that I need to draw your attention to Archie.
  • Archie is the central database that stores all drafts of Cochrane reviews, published and in progress, as well as the contact information of all contributors to The Cochrane Collaboration. When you want to work on your review, you will need to access the draft file in the Archie database and download it to begin work. When you’ve finished work, you’ll need to upload the file back to Archie for storage. Archie is used by your CRG to access your review for editorial and peer review, and the Cochrane Library is also published directly from the Archie database. As an author, you can do everything you need from RevMan with an internet connection – you don’t need to open the Archie database directly. You will need a user name and password so that RevMan can access your reviews. If you haven’t already done so, you will need to contact your CRG to get an Archie user account and password, so that you are able to check out your review in RevMan from the Archie database.
  • It is possible to log in to the Archie database using the web interface at archie.cochrane.org. Most authors will not need to use this interface – you can’t edit your review this way, although you can see read-only versions of your review and edit your contact details. One particularly useful feature, though, is if you’ve forgotten your password and can’t open your review. By coming to this page you can click the ‘Forgot your password’ link, and reset your password at any time.
  • This is how the process of accessing your review works. First, the CRG creates the review file in Archie. It’s important to note that you yourself cannot create a review file. It has to be your Managing Editor who creates the review file for you, or it won’t be recognised by the system as an official Cochrane review. Your ME will let you know when your review file has been created in Archie and is ready for you to work on, and they’ll help you set up your user name and password. In RevMan, you will enter your user name and password and ‘check out’ the file from Archie, just like ‘checking out’ a book from a library. The file will be downloaded to your computer into RevMan, where you can start work. When you’ve finished working for the day, you should check the review back into Archie to be stored until the next time want to start work again. If you have co-authors who are also working on the review, then they will also be able to check out the latest version from Archie, work on it, and check it back in for you to see. Only one author can check out the review at a time. It’s really important that the latest version of the review should always be in Archie. First, it avoids confusion about different versions of the review, whether it’s versions edited by different co-authors, or different versions that might be saved on your computer. You can always go to Archie to get the latest version. Second, it also means that the file is always backed up on the Cochrane server, and can be restored if anything goes wrong. ASK: Does anyone have any questions about how this process works?
  • Now that I’ve explained the relationship between RevMan and Archie, I’m going to outline some of the key features of RevMan.
  • RevMan can be used to write all four types of reviews published by The Cochrane Collaboration: for the most part you will be working on reviews of interventions, but we also publish methodology reviews, reviews of diagnostic test accuracy studies, and overviews of multiple reviews. Versions of RevMan are also available to work with PCs, Macs and Linux platforms.
  • RevMan can be used at each stage of the review process to write the text of the review, perform statistical meta-analysis, and manage your references. When the protocol or review is complete, RevMan is used to submit your protocol, review, or update of a review, to your CRG for editorial approval.
  • When you start RevMan, this is the first screen you will see, giving you a few options to get started. In most cases, the first thing you’ll want to do is check out one of your reviews from Archie. To do that, click on ‘Go to My Reviews’.
  • RevMan will ask you to enter your Archie user name and password. If you wish, you can save your login details so that you don’t have to do this each time (we recommend that you only do this if you are the only user of the computer). You can also enter and save your user name and password any time in the RevMan Preferences window, available in the Tools Menu.
  • This is the My Reviews window. Having entered my password, RevMan can show me a list of all the reviews I have access to. If you are an author of more than one review, they will all be listed. If I click on a review title, I can see the current status of that review – whether it’s at the protocol or full review stage, who the other authors are, what version I’m up to and so on. It can also tell me if the review is available to be checked out from Archie, or if someone else is using it. Importantly, if I forgot to check the review in last time I used it, RevMan will tell me that the latest version is saved on my computer, and show me exactly where I saved it. In the bottom right section, under Tasks in progress, I can see where I’m up to in the review process – usually either drafting the protocol or review, but you might also be at the stage of responding to editorial or peer review feedback. To check out the review, just click the Check Out button.
  • This is what RevMan looks like when you open an intervention review in the current version 5.1. [Click] The left hand side of the screen is the outline pane, which lists all sections of the standard Cochrane review template. If you select any of these section titles in the Outline pane, you will automatically see the relevant section on the right hand side of the screen – [click] the Content Pane. This is where all of the work of the review is done – you can see here where the text can be written and edited, but at other times you will see statistical analysis, tables, figures or references in the content pane. At the top of the screen are all the functions to help you write the review. [Click] There’s a Menu bar with drop-down functions to select. [Click] There’s a toolbar to select the functions you’ll most frequently need. [Click] And finally at the top of the outline pane is another small toolbar – this one is used mostly for adding things and organising the structure of your review. [Click] You can click on these symbols – keys in the outline pane (or triangles if you’re using a Mac), and + signs in the content pane – to expand and collapse the headings, to see or hide the content of each section in the review. For writing the text of the review, RevMan provides a standard template with headings. This review is at the protocol stage – you can see the section headed ‘Protocol information’, and the small blue ‘P’ symbol at the top left of the screen. RevMan automatically highlights those sections that need to be completed for a protocol – in the outline pane, the sections you don’t need are greyed out. In the Content pane, the headings you need to complete are highlighted in blue. An important feature is here at the top right of the screen – in any part of RevMan, if you’re not sure what should go in that section of the Review, or how to use a feature, if you click on the question mark button, you will be taken to the relevant section of the online Help. If you click the button with the little book, you will be taken to the relevant section of the Cochrane Handbook.
  • At the beginning of the review is the heading ‘Protocol Information’, or if you have completed the protocol and are working on the full review, this will say ‘Review Information’. Here you can see listed the authors of the review, as well as their affiliations, and the complete contact details of the person who has been nominated as the Contact Person. This person will be the main point of contact for the Review Group, and their details will be published as the corresponding author for the protocol or review. These details are added to the review from the contact details stored in Archie - if any details are not correct, you can contact the Review Group to have then updated. If the authors are not listed in the right order, you can fix this yourself in RevMan. You would do that by clicking the Authors heading in the outline pane, and expanding to see the list of authors. There are ‘Move up’ and ‘Move down’ buttons on the Outline Pane toolbar to help you reorder the authors. In this example, the first three authors all work at the same place, but they have all written the name of the institution differently – this is the kind of thing you should fix before publication.
  • RevMan has many of the word processing features you’d expect, and tools to help you collaborate with your co-authors. You can format your text using the toolbar buttons – for example, bold, italics, superscript, dot points and numbering. You can create hyperlinks to your references, appearing in blue. Note that you don’t need to change the font or font size in RevMan – the text will be put into standard Cochrane style when the review is published. While editing with your co-authors, you can highlight the text, add sticky notes, or use track changes. There’s also a spellchecker, highlighting any spelling errors in the text with red underlining. If you have any doubts about how to write or format something, the Cochrane Style Guide is available in the RevMan Help Menu.
  • You can also use Revman to enter or edit the references for your review. You can also easily import references from databases such as Medline or reference management software such as Endnote – see the Online Help or User Guide on how to do this. When you start working on your review and start finding some eligible studies, you will need to add references to these under the Included Studies heading. In some cases there might be multiple references to the one study, and so first you will need to create a study ID for the study, and then you can enter the multiple references to this study under the study ID. For example, Morrocona 1998 has two references listed under it’s study ID.
  • This slide shows you the data entry and statistical analysis feature of RevMan 5.1. All you need to do is enter the data extracted from your included studies, and then RevMan automatically performs a meta-analysis of this data and creates a forest plot representation of the data. A range of statistical options are available to tailor the analysis to your review.
  • When you’re ready to submit your protocol or review for editorial assessment, you can run a Validation Report – an automatic check for anything you may have forgotten. For example, here RevMan has identified that I’ve forgotten to complete the Declaration of Interest section, and that I’ve forgotten to link some of my references and figures to the text. If I click on any of those highlighted errors, Revman will take me to the section of the document that needs to be fixed. Note that Validation errors, in the first part of the report, must be fixed, or I won’t be able to submit my review for editorial approval. Validation warnings, in the lower part of the report, should be checked and fixed if possible, but it is possible to submit the document for editorial approval without fixing them if there’s a good reason for that.
  • There is plenty of assistance available if you need help with RevMan. In the Help menu, you can access the complete User Guide, or look up specific topics in the online help. You can also access a self-paced tutorial that takes you through all the main features of RevMan. Don’t forget the Help and Handbook buttons that will take you to help relevant to the section you’re working on. For more information and documentation, see the IMS website, and in particular the support page for authors. Here you’ll find links to more resources, presentations and guides to RevMan, Archie and more. If you need personalised help, contact your CRG. You can also discuss RevMan with fellow users and staff from the IMS team via the online discussion forum on the Collaboration website – note that you will need your Archie user name and password to access the discussion forums, as they are part of the ‘Intranet’ section of the website. Your local Cochrane Centre may also provide training or support to answer your questions – see the cochrane.org website for the contact details of your local Centre.
  • 12. Introduction to RevMan

    1. 1. Introduction to RevMan
    2. 2. Steps of a systematic review <ul><li>define the question </li></ul><ul><li>plan eligibility criteria </li></ul><ul><li>plan methods </li></ul><ul><li>search for studies </li></ul><ul><li>apply eligibility criteria </li></ul><ul><li>collect data </li></ul><ul><li>assess studies for risk of bias </li></ul><ul><li>analyse and present results </li></ul><ul><li>interpret results and draw conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>improve and update review </li></ul>
    3. 3. Outline <ul><li>RevMan and Archie </li></ul><ul><li>working with RevMan </li></ul>See http://ims.cochrane.org
    4. 4. Review Manager (RevMan) <ul><li>mandatory software for writing and publishing your review </li></ul><ul><li>available from http://ims.cochrane.org/revman </li></ul><ul><li>free for Cochrane authors and academic use </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Cochrane Collaboration central database </li></ul><ul><ul><li>stores all reviews and contact information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Cochrane Library is published directly from Archie </li></ul></ul><ul><li>use RevMan to access reviews in Archie </li></ul><ul><ul><li>need a user account and password (ask your CRG) </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. http://archie.cochrane.org
    7. 7. Accessing your review CRG gives user account to authors CRG creates review in Archie Author checks out review using RevMan Work on review Review stored in Archie Authors checks in review using RevMan
    8. 8. Outline <ul><li>RevMan and Archie </li></ul><ul><li>working with RevMan </li></ul>
    9. 9. RevMan works with <ul><li>all Cochrane review types </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interventions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>methodology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>diagnostic test accuracy studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>overview of reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>multiple platforms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Macintosh </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linux </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Working with RevMan <ul><li>for protocols, reviews and updates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>writing the text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>statistical analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reference management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>submission for editorial review and publication </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Starting RevMan
    12. 12. Entering your password
    13. 13. Accessing your review
    14. 14. Menu bar Toolbar Outline pane toolbar Outline pane Content pane
    15. 18. Data entry and analyses
    16. 19. Validation reports
    17. 20. How to get help <ul><li>documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help Menu: User Guide, online help, tutorial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>context-specific Help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IMS website at http://ims.cochrane.org/support/authors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>if you need assistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ask your CRG </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RevMan discussion forum at www.cochrane.org/forums/software/revman </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your local Centre may provide training and support </li></ul></ul>
    18. 21. Take home message <ul><li>RevMan is the software you will use to write your review </li></ul><ul><li>you will need a user name and password to access your review file in the Archie database </li></ul><ul><li>help is available </li></ul>
    19. 22. References <ul><li>Review Manager (RevMan) [Computer program]. Version 5.1. Copenhagen: The Nordic Cochrane Centre, The Cochrane Collaboration, 2011. </li></ul><ul><li>http://ims.cochrane.org </li></ul>Acknowledgements <ul><li>Compiled by Miranda Cumpston and Matthew Page </li></ul><ul><li>Based on materials by the Cochrane Information Management System, the Australasian Cochrane Centre and the Canadian Cochrane Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Approved by the Cochrane Methods Board </li></ul>