3.2 Basic functions of the CRS

  • Getting reports into CRS
  • Developing a Study-based Register in CRS
  • Supporting review authors using CRS
  • Copyright and storing trial papers

3.2.1 Getting reports into CRS

Study reports are added by importing references from databases such as CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO etc, or can be entered by hand.

Records can be imported in a number of formats. CRS has built-in import filters which can be modified if needed. You can also create your own filters.

CRS checks for duplicate records at the import stage but duplicate checking can also be carried out at any time. You can create your own deduplication filters.

The formatting of the fields within your Register is important, Information Specialists should use the HarmoniSR guidance to ensure that records are consistent. This guidance can be found on the Information Specialists' Portal in the "Specialised Register" section.

The CRS allows for storage of core bibliographic data and any other study information a Group thinks is appropriate.  You can also store the full text of references in the CRS.

3.2.2 Developing a Study-based Register in CRS

The CRS allows linking together of reports of the same trial. It has dedicated study fields for addition of information that relates the study – for example, study name, study registration number, number of participants, method of randomization, blinding, intervention etc.

It has a ‘Studification’ feature – this uses a number of methods to try and match references to studies automatically.

You can search ClinicalTrials.gov from within the CRS by going to the Trial Registries tab, and import study records directly from the database.

3.2.3 Supporting review authors using CRS

Information Specialists can assign studies (or references) to individual reviews, and then send these to authors using the tracking screen.

CRS tracks the date(s) studies were sent to authors and tracks what the authors have done with them – i.e. included, excluded, rejected etc.

Additional material can be associated with a study or reference record (e.g. a data extraction sheet, a translation or a PDF copy of the paper)

3.2.4 Copyright and storing trial papers

CRS allows you to attach full text papers and other documents to study or reference records. Storage of all material should be carried out in accordance with local copyright and database agreements in mind.