Alternatives to the

The vision for the Open-Meta app is that it will unleash the power to discover what’s real to anyone who is willing to work in the open, subject to the review of others.

It should be both useful in itself as a tool and useful for teaching best practices in reviewing and synthesizing research.

It should support the entire process of creating a systematic review and meta-analysis, from writing a project protocol based on the PRISMA-P guidelines, to uploading citations from academic databases, through stage 1 review, data extraction, and statistical analysis, to downloading graphics, tables, and bibliographies for publication.

The Open-Meta app is open source, but unlike an R package, it requires a web host running Shiny Server, an SQL database, and an email connection. In addition, it’s dependent on other open-source R packages written by those with expertise in the statistical underpinnings of meta-analysis, as well as academic guidelines for creating systematic reviews.

There are many programs available for doing systematic reviews and meta-analyses, although most only do one or the other and most aren’t web based. Here’s a non-comprehensive list of what’s out there, with an emphasis on well-known packages and on packages based on R, in case you need to start something now.

Name By Web-based? SR or MA? Free?
Open-Meta open-source Yes Both in alpha test
RevMan Web Cochrane Yes Both in beta test
metagear open-source No Both Yes
RevMan 5 Cochrane No Both Academic:yes
SRDR & Abstrakr Brown Univ
Yes SR only Yes
Covidence Cochrane Yes SR only No
DistillerSR Evidence Partners Yes SR only No
Sumari JBI Yes SR only No
MAVIS open-source Yes MA only Yes
R-meta open-source Yes MA only Yes
RcmdrPlugin.MA open-source No MA only Yes
metaforGUI open-source No MA only Yes
Open Meta-Analyst Brown Univ
No MA only Yes
OpenMEE Brown Univ
No MA only Yes
Comprehensive Meta-Analysis CMA No MA only No

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