The identification section of the template is designed to capture general information about studies including where it was conducted, how it was funded, and how to contact the lead author if you have any questions.
Fields within the identification section of the template are listed under three subheadings, described in more detail below.
There are four default fields that can't be removed from the template. These fields allow you to record basic information about the included study:
- Sponsorship source - to record how the study was funded which may introduce conflicts of interest and impact the way results are interpreted
- Country - to record where the study was conducted and consider the geographic spread and applicability of included studies
- Setting - for noting the type of place or environment the study was conducted in, such as outpatient clinics or schools
- Comments - to capture anything else noteworthy about the study to consider during synthesis or write-up, or for discussion with co-authors
Author’s contact details
There are four default fields that can't be removed from the template. These fields allow you to record details of the lead or corresponding author in case contact is required for additional data or clarification:
The Additional data subheading does not include any default fields and is a place for the user to add custom fields to suit the specifics of the review not captured within the other subheadings.
Examples of custom fields that may be useful to add under this subheading include:
- Number and/or type of centers - whether the study was conducted through a single site or multiple national or international sites, and whether it was run through hospitals, schools, pharmacies…
- Study identifier(s) - the unique code from a study registry site such as clinicaltrials.gov or the WHO’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), which is required for all drug studies and many other types of study
- Study sources - to record a primary source used for data extraction or list the different types of sources, for example if there was only a conference abstract available or if you had access to unpublished data or a statistical analysis plan
- Conflicts of interest - either those held by study authors or those relating to the way the study was funded for consideration when it comes to interpreting the analysis
- Study URL(s) - web link to the main journal article or to its listing on a study registry
- Start and/or completion dates - exact dates each study started and completed, often given as standard on many trial registries