It is hard to get people excited about software, says Eliza Grames, a doctoral candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology. Yet, the software she has developed is exciting for anyone about to embark on a new research and trying to determine whether it’s actually … new.
Put yourself into the shoes of a researcher.
Before any new study, a thorough and exhaustive review of existing literature must be done to make sure the project is novel. Or, to determine whether there is existing data that may be used to answer a their new question.
This is a daunting task, especially considering that millions of new research articles are published each year. Where does one even begin to explore all of that data?
“Each new study contributes more to what we know about a topic, adding nuance and complexity that helps improve our understanding of the natural world. To make sense of this wealth of evidence and get closer to a complete picture of the world, researchers are increasingly turning to systematic review methods as a way to synthesize this information,” says Grames.
Systematic reviews started in the fields of medicine and public health, where keeping current with research can be, quite literally, a question of life or death, says Grames. (Ever wonder how your doctor knows about the latest treatments for your condition?)
“In those fields, there is an established system with Medical Subject Headers where articles get tagged with keywords associated with the work, but ecology does not have that.”
Other fields of research across the scientific spectrum were in the same boat.
The project sprang out of need. In her own process of reviewing, Grames noted she would miss articles and key terms and was interested in finding out how to identify those missing terms. So, Grames decided to create a system that researchers in the field of ecology, environment, conservation biology, evolutionary biology and other sciences, could use.
“As we were working on this software, we realized there was a much faster way to do the reviews than how others were doing them,” says Grames, “The traditional way was mostly going through papers and pulling out a term and then reading the rest of the article to identify more terms to use.”
Even with fairly specific keywords, Grames notes the average systematic review in her field of conservation biology initially yields about 10,000 research papers. While it is important to retrieve relevant information, too much irrelevant information can add unnecessary time.
“Each year, the amount of data just keeps increasing. There are some systematic reviews that if you look at the amount of time they would have taken just three years ago, they would take about 300 days to perform. If the same reviews were done today, they would take about 350 days because the number of publications just keeps going up and up.”
Grames says it took about a month or so to hash out ideas for the software, then she spent a summer writing and fixing the code. The result is an open-source software package called litsearchr.
How it works, says Grames, is that a user will input a search into a few databases.
“The keywords should be fairly relevant entered into the algorithm to extract all of the potential keywords, which are then put into a network. The original keywords are at the center of the network and are the most well-connected.”
Grames says the time required to develop a search strategy has been decreased by 90%.
Presented with the most relevant articles, researchers then have significantly fewer papers to parse through manually. This review stage is partially automated now, too, adds Grames.
Litsearchr is part of a collaborative effort by researchers, called metaverse, where the goal is to link several software packages together so researchers can perform their research from start to finish in the same coding language.
“Researchers can develop their systematic reviews, import data, and there is even a package that can write up the results section for the systematic review,” says Grames.
Grames and her team set up the software so that it could be used by anyone, whether they can code or not, using ready made templates. There is also a detailed step-by-step video to take users through the process.
By keeping the software open source, Grames says debugging and editing is improved because users can point out details that need attention. “Every time I get an email, it is so exciting. It is nice to have it open because people can let me know when there is a typo.”
The software is currently being used by researchers in nutritional science and psychology, and for a massive undertaking screening all papers pertaining to insect populations across the globe.
“There is no way we could do this project without the level of automation we get using litsearchr. I built this out of a need from another project, but this software is making it possible to do even bigger analyses than before.”
The Latest on: Software research tool
via Google News
The Latest on: Software research tool
- Assisted Living Software Market - Actionable Research on COVID-19|Demand for the Integration of eMAR to Boost the Market Growth | Technavioon October 7, 2020 at 11:43 am
The global assisted living software market size is poised to grow by USD 320.80 million during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of almost 15% throughout the forecast period, according to the latest ...
- ‘Mercenary’ hacker group widespread in Mideast, research findson October 7, 2020 at 11:25 am
Saudi diplomats, Sikh separatists, Indian executives among the targeted by hired hackers, cybersecurity research says.
- Zacks.com featured highlights include: Toro, Progress Software, News, eXp and Centruson October 7, 2020 at 10:17 am
Stocks in this week’s article are The Toro Company TTC, Progress Software Corp. PRGS, News Corp. NWSA, eXp World Holdings, Inc. EXPI and Centrus Energy Corp. LEU. There’s no denying that the lack of ...
- Recipe Software Market in Demand; Sentiment Is Shifting Towards Growth: Epicurious, Home Cookin, MacGourmet Deluxeon October 7, 2020 at 9:27 am
This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire Edison, NJ -- ( SBWIRE) -- 10/07/2020 -- Global Recipe Software Market Size, Status and Forecast 2020-2026 is latest research study released by ...
- Global Enterprises Embrace SaaS for its Intelligent Toolson October 7, 2020 at 8:16 am
Enterprises embracing the software-as-a-service model are making use of its intelligent features to better understand their business data and generate new and predictive insights, according to a new ...
- VelocityEHS Obtains Exclusive Rights to University of Michigan 3D Software to Optimize Its ...on October 7, 2020 at 6:37 am
VelocityEHS, the global leader in cloud-based environment, health, safety (EHS) and sustainability solutions, today announced it has secured exclusive rights to sell and support the 3D Static Strength ...
- 'Mercenary' hacker group runs rampant in Middle East, cybersecurity research showson October 7, 2020 at 5:47 am
Saudi diplomats, Sikh separatists and Indian business executives have been among those targeted by a group of hired hackers, according to research published on Wednesday by software firm BlackBerry ...
- Cloud Financial Close Solutions Software Market to Boom Post 2020 | Workiva, BlackLine, Trintech, Oracleon October 6, 2020 at 7:19 pm
Global Cloud Financial Close Solutions Software Market Report from AMA Research highlights deep analysis on market characteristics, sizing, estimates and growth by segmentation, regional breakdowns& ...
- How This $140 Million Design Software Startup Uses Math To Help Power The Shift To 3D Printingon October 6, 2020 at 3:33 am
Startup nTopology is building next generation design software that relies on mathematical computations to create 3D-printed parts and products that are lighter and more efficient than would be ...
- Worldwide Drug Modeling Software Industry to 2027 - Increasing Adoption of Modelling Tools in Drug Discovery is Driving Growthon October 2, 2020 at 3:34 pm
The "Drug Modeling Software Market Forecast to 2027 - COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis by Product type; Application, and Geography" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
via Bing News