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Embase screening. Using technology to harness the wisdom of the crowd. # CochraneTech 20 th September 2014 Hyderabad, India. The Embase project. Mission: identify all RCTs in Embase and feed them into CENTRAL Team : Gordon Dooley, Julie Glanville, Anna Noel-Storr. Feeding time.

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embase screening

Embase screening

Using technology to harness the wisdom of the crowd


20th September 2014 Hyderabad, India

the embase project
The Embase project

Mission: identify all RCTs in Embase and feed them into CENTRAL

Team: Gordon Dooley, Julie Glanville, Anna Noel-Storr

feeding time
Feeding time


Help make CENTRAL the Go To place for all RCTs

how let s use crowdsourcing
How: Let’s use crowdsourcing

“…the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees…”


how let s use crowdsourcing1
How: Let’s use crowdsourcing

Need rapid ‘on-boarding’

Need in-built feedback mechanism

Need in-built quality assurance measures

The screening tool, the way in which guidance is delivered and the way screeners, and us, can evaluate performance is all reliant on how we harness the technology…

1 simplicity
1. Simplicity

You have to make one of three decisions on each record

2 helpful highlights
2. Helpful highlights

We’ve highlighted some key terms and phrases: yellow highlights indicate that the record may be describing an RCT

2 helpful highlights1
2. Helpful highlights

Red highlights indicate that the record is likely to be a Reject

3 you are not alone
3. You are not alone

Stalwart! You are the only person screening

Two’s company! There is currently one other person screening

We have a crowd! There are currently two other people screening

We’re all at it! There are currently three other people screening

4 we are doing well
4. We are doing well

Sense of progression and orientation




Signed up



using tech to support new methods
Using Tech to support new methods












“It is so easy to read! And use!”

“Really clear and user friendly”

Love it!

“Easy to navigate”

ux the highlights are the highlight
Ux: the highlights are the highlight

Makes it quicker to spot the keys issues

In a mass of words, it helps locate the information that I should be searching for

Immediately shows me words that give me a "first impression"

Aside from the actual words that are being highlighted, it draws your eye to the sentence in which the term appears too, which is usually what you want

It serves as a simple reminder of exclusion criteria without having to open a separate tab/page to review whether a paper should be included or not

the cochrane eco system
The Cochrane eco system

RCTs from Embase


the cochrane ecosystem
The Cochrane ecosystem

RCTs from anywhere