The Evidence Synthesis Hackathon’s online Evidence Synthesis & Meta-Analysis in R Conference (#ESMARConf) was held on January 21st and 22nd 2021. Although the event is over, the conference hasn’t ended! All of the individual talks, panel discussions, workshops and livestreams are available for free on the ESMARConf2021 YouTube Channel. ESMARConf includes an exciting programme of talks, workshops, and interactive sessions that address the following:

  • Presentations of packages designed to assist reviewers across evidence synthesis stages, from planning to communication
  • Demonstrations integrating evidence synthesis packages into an interoperable pipeline in R
  • Novel applications of R packages in an evidence synthesis context
  • Automating evidence synthesis in R
  • Assisting novices to R in performing evidence syntheses with the aid of graphical user interfaces

Many thanks to the 514 participants who registered for the conference, and the >1,000 viewers (>4,000 views!) on YouTube so far (February 2021).

Programme and Recordings

Session (click for session livestream) Speakers Title (click for individual talk)
Opening Session Matthew Grainger Meta-Analysis in R: a thematic analysis and content analysis of meta-analytic R packages
Vivian Welch The Future of evidence synthesis: an insider's perspective
Automation: text analysis Arindam Basu Using computational text analysis to filter titles and abstracts of initial search for meta-analysis: case of Quanteda and tidytext
Martin Westgate An introduction to revtools - R and Shiny App for article screening and topic modelling
Max Callaghan Introduction to the concept of robust stopping criteria for using machine learning classifiers for inclusion decisions in evidence syntheses
Richard Cornford Automated identification of articles for ecological datasets
Automation: other Neal Haddaway GSscraper: an R package for scraping search results from Google Scholar
Wolfgang Viechtbauer Automated report generation for meta-analyses using the R package metafor
Emily Hennessy Promoting synthesis-ready research for immediate and lasting scientific impact
Kaitlyn Hair Identifying duplicate publications with the ASySD (Automated Systematic Search De-duplication) tool
Quantitative Synthesis James E. Pustejovsky Synthesis of dependent effect sizes: Versatile models through clubSandwich and metafor
Maya Mathur R package PublicationBias: Sensitivity analysis for publication bias
Philip Martin Dynamic meta-analysis: Providing evidence to guide local decisions using a global evidence base
Wolfgang Viechtbauer Selection models for publication bias in meta-analysis
Quantitative Synthesis:Network Meta-Analysis Guido Schwarzer Network meta-analysis with netmeta - Present and Future
David Phillippo multinma: An R package for Bayesian network meta-analysis of individual and aggregate data
Thodoros Papakonstantinou How to estimate the contribution of each study in network meta-analysis
Hugo Pedder MBNMAdose: An R package for incorporating dose-response information into Network Meta-Analysis
Michael Seo bnma: Bayesian Network Meta-Analysis using 'JAGS'
User Interfaces Clareece Nevill Pilot for an Interactive Living Network Meta-Analysis web application
Suzanne Freeman MetaDTA: An interactive web-based tool for meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies
W. Kyle Hamilton Jamovi as a Platform for Running a Meta-Analysis
Reporting Neal Haddaway Producing interactive flow diagrams for systematic reviews using the PRISMA2020 package
Charles Gray nmareporting:: a computational waystation for toolchains in network meta-analysis reporting
Data Viz Aaron Conway Using the flextable package to create graphical summaries of study characteristics in systematic reviews
Luke McGuinness "On the shoulders of giants": advantages and challenges to building on established evidence synthesis packages, using the {robvis} package as a case study
Alexander Fonseca Martinez An Interactive forest plot for visualizing risk of bias assessment
Charles Gray Structuring data for systematic review: towards a future of open and interoperable analyses
Andrew Feierman EviAtlas – tool for producing visuals from evidence synthesis data
Ciara Keenan evimappr an R package for producing interactive bubble plots of evidence
Research Weaving Sarah Young What can networks tell us in an evidence and gap map context? Vegetated strips in agricultural fields as a case study
Tim Alamenciak and Dorian Pomezanski Analyzing Canadian ecological restoration literature with bibliometric analysis and a systematic map
Loretta Gasparini Introducing metalabR: A package to facilitate living meta-analyses and dynamic meta-analytic visualizations
Open Synthesis Neal Haddaway Open Synthesis and R
Tanja Burgard PsychOpen CAMA - A platform for open and cumulative meta-analyses in psychology
Marc Lajeunesse Challenges and lessons for automating data extractions from scientific plots
Thomas Leuchtefeld Sysrev - An Open Access Platform for Review
Alexandra Bannach-Brown Research Ecosystems & the Role of R in Effective Evidence Synthesis: building bridges between researchers
Matteo Mancini A new ERA for meta-analysis: building Executable Research Articles
Workshop 1: Writing an R function and developing a package Martin Westgate This short workshop provides walkthroughs, examples and advice on how to go about building R functions and packages, and why you might wish to do so in the first place. It aims to discuss the benefits of using functions and packages to support your work and the work of others, and provides practical advice about when a package might be ready to 'go public'.
Workshop 2: Systematic review coordinating bodies and how they can help you: panel discussion Jacqualyn Eales, Jordi Pardo Pardo, Andrew Pullin, Vivian Welch This workshop and panel discussion focus on what the major systematic review coordinating bodies, the Campbell Collaboration, CEE and Cochrane, can provide by way of support to anyone wishing to conduct a robust evidence synthesis. Each organisation briefly presents itself, followed by a panel discussion with questions from the conference participants.
Workshop 3: Introduction to GitHub Luke McGuinness and Matthew Grainger This workshop will provide walkthroughs, examples and advice on how to use GitHub to support your work in R, whether developing packages or managing projects.
Workshop 4: Collaborating to reduce research waste Mel Bond, Alexandra Bannach-Brown, Emily Hennessy, Thomas Leuchtefeld This panel discussion focuses on how the evidence synthesis and technology development communities can work to ensure that research waste and redundancy of effort are minimised when tools to support evidence synthesis are developed, and how this can be balanced with innovation and bespoke tool development.
Closing Session with a panel on Training in R and Evidence Synthesis Marc Lajeunesse, Wolfgang Viechtbauer and Harriet Downey, Neal Haddaway, Matthew Grainger, Luke McGuinness, Emily Hennessy This panel discussion covers why evidence synthesis capacity development is vital for rigorous synthesis and evidence-informed decision-making. The panellists discuss the beneficial role that systems like R can play in increasing awareness of and use of robust methods, and possible challenges with Open platforms for training future generations of evidence synthesists.

Further information

You can read the Evidence Synthesis Hackathon’s Data and Privacy Policy relating to any information you may submit to us here. The Evidence Synthesis Hackathon’s Accessibility, Diversity and Equity Policy is available here.

Many thanks,

The ESMARConf organisers:
Matthew Grainger
Neal Haddaway
Emily Hennessy
Ciara Keenan
Luke McGuiness
Martin Westgate