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
- Market Research on Data Extraction Software Market 2018 and Analysis to 2028on September 9, 2019 at 6:38 pm
Strong demand for advanced business intelligence tools and the shift towards ... the growth of the data extraction software market. Furthermore, less development in technology base, and less spending ...
- Microway Helps Enable Next-Level Research and Education at Oregon State Universityon September 9, 2019 at 1:37 pm
integrated software, and transferred knowledge to the University team. Since the successful installation the deployment has been utilized for a wide variety of research applications and as a classroom ...
- Morningstar builds its own financial planning toolon September 9, 2019 at 5:06 am
Most advisers still need to manually move data from financial planning software over to a portfolio ... identifying an investor's true goals than other tools on the market, Mr Stipp said. According to ...
- Global Business Analytics And Enterprise Software Market Impressive Gains Including Top Key Players : IBM, SAS Institute and SAPon September 9, 2019 at 1:38 am
In this market, Tools Software, Manageware are the major types, used to spur the rise of business analytics and enterprise software research report. The Market.us anticipate that the technology ...
- Global Contract Management Software and Platform Market Share, Supply, Analysis and Forecast to 2025on September 8, 2019 at 10:45 pm
Contract management software is one kind of tool that manages contract lifecycle processes in ... Therefore, we have associated with the top publishers and research firms all specialized in specific ...
- Global Contract Management Software and Platform Market Analysis 2019 – Dynamics, Trends, Revenue, Regional Segmented, Outlook & Forecast Till 2025on September 8, 2019 at 10:35 pm
Wise Guy Reports Published Latest Research Report "Global Contract Management Software ... management-software-and-platform-market-by Contract management software is one kind of tool that manages ...
- Senior Software Development Engineeron September 6, 2019 at 9:48 am
The Senior Software Development Engineer position will report ... Provide guidance into emerging technology options as new tools are explored. • Research technologies for potential use in OvrC servers ...
- Siemens and Dassault Systèmes Take Top Spots in ABI Research’s Manufacturing Simulation Software Competitive Assessmenton September 5, 2019 at 6:33 am
These tools allow simulation capabilities to extend to ... Siemens and Dassault Systèmes stand out as market leaders in discrete manufacturing simulation software,” concludes Martin. ABI Research ...
- Independent Research Demonstrates that Organizations Using Veracode AppSec Solutions Save Millions by Reducing Time to Fix Software Vulnerabilitieson September 3, 2019 at 7:47 am
developers create code that is secure from the start resulting in less time wasted on fixing issues found later in the software development cycle. The study also found that Veracode tools reduce ...
- Organ-on-a-Chip and Stem-Cell Methods Combined to Make New Tool for Diabetes Researchon August 30, 2019 at 7:37 am
“I am really excited about seeing this technology used in diabetes research and transplantation screening ... the electronics and data acquisition components – even the software. The overall device ...
via Bing News