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, 8 (1), 334

The Systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR): Descriptive Characteristics of Publicly Available Data and Opportunities for Research


The Systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR): Descriptive Characteristics of Publicly Available Data and Opportunities for Research

Ian J Saldanha et al. Syst Rev.


Background: Conducting systematic reviews ("reviews") requires a great deal of effort and resources. Making data extracted during reviews available publicly could offer many benefits, including reducing unnecessary duplication of effort, standardizing data, supporting analyses to address secondary research questions, and facilitating methodologic research. Funded by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR) is a free, web-based, open-source, data management and archival platform for reviews. Our specific objectives in this paper are to describe (1) the current extent of usage of SRDR and (2) the characteristics of all projects with publicly available data on the SRDR website.

Methods: We examined all projects with data made publicly available through SRDR as of November 12, 2019. We extracted information about the characteristics of these projects. Two investigators extracted and verified the data.

Results: SRDR has had 2552 individual user accounts belonging to users from 80 countries. Since SRDR's launch in 2012, data have been made available publicly for 152 of the 735 projects in SRDR (21%), at a rate of 24.5 projects per year, on average. Most projects are in clinical fields (144/152 projects; 95%); most have evaluated interventions (therapeutic or preventive) (109/152; 72%). The most frequent health areas addressed are mental and behavioral disorders (31/152; 20%) and diseases of the eye and ocular adnexa (23/152; 15%). Two-thirds of the projects (104/152; 67%) were funded by AHRQ, and one-sixth (23/152; 15%) are Cochrane reviews. The 152 projects each address a median of 3 research questions (IQR 1-5) and include a median of 70 studies (IQR 20-130).

Conclusions: Until we arrive at a future in which the systematic review and broader research communities are comfortable with the accuracy of automated data extraction, re-use of data extracted by humans has the potential to help reduce redundancy and costs. The 152 projects with publicly available data through SRDR, and the more than 15,000 studies therein, are freely available to researchers and the general public who might be working on similar reviews or updates of reviews or who want access to the data for decision-making, meta-research, or other purposes.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they developed and continue to maintain SRDR—the subject of this manuscript. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Annual and cumulative numbers of projects with publicly available data on the Systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR) website since the year after SRDR’s inception in 2012 (i.e., 2013 to 2019). Note: Data for 2019 only includes January 1, 2019 to November 12, 2019. The spike in the number of projects in 2019, although it includes data from only approximately 10.5 months is because we recently reached out to leads of all existing projects in SRDR to encourage them to make the project data available publicly. Blue bars = annual number of projects. Green bars = cumulative number of projects

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