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Lau J, Hadar N, Iovin R, et al. Proposed Governance and Data Management Policy for the Systematic Review Data Repository [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2012 Sep.

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Proposed Governance and Data Management Policy for the Systematic Review Data Repository [Internet].

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Introduction

In an effort to reduce the burden of conducting systematic reviews, the Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) at Tufts Medical Center, with support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), has initiated development of a collaborative, Web-based repository of systematic review data. As envisioned, this resource would serve as both an archive and data extraction tool, shared among organizations and individuals producing systematic reviews worldwide, and enabling the creation of a central database of systematic review data. This database would be collaboratively vetted, freely accessible, and integrate seamlessly with reviewers’ existing workflows, with the ultimate goal of facilitating the efficient generation and update of evidence reviews, and thus speeding and improving policy-making with regards to health care. (For additional information concerning this depository and its function, please refer to our introductory manuscript describing the goals, rationale, challenges, and benefits of this system in Systematic Reviews.1)

The Systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR) development started at July 2010, and the system was released for general use across EPC institutions, some selective organization, and public on June of 2012. Prior to general release, however, a number of major nontechnical challenges have to be addressed, most critically, how the repository will be governed and funded once initial development is complete, but also how to ensure the quality of deposited data. While this remains a fluid process, herein we explore a number of proposals regarding the implementation of data curation and quality assurance procedures, as well as the day-to-day and long-term management of the repository.

These proposals are based on a yearlong discussion with the SRDR project advisory committee, which included experts from a number of relevant disciplines, as well as input from consultants on informatics and legal issues pertaining to intellectual property rights. Our purpose here is to advance the conversation with respect to institutionalizing the SRDR project, as the successful resolution of these issues requires careful deliberation and will be critical to the long-term viability of this project.

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