International Database of Education Systematic Reviews
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Welcome to the International Database of Education Systematic Reviews.

IDESR is a database of published systematic reviews in Education and a clearinghouse for protocol registration of ongoing and planned systematic reviews.  From this page you can:

  • dive straight in and search the database
  • register a protocol for a planned systematic review
  • read more about IDESR,
  • explore the rationale for IDESR
  • meet the team behind the IDESR project.

IDESR is currently in the first phase of its development. It is currently focusing on cataloguing and registering systematic reviews from just one sub-field of Education - language education. Check the inclusion criteria and submission guidance here.

The IDESR Team are grateful to the John Fell Fund and the Department of Education at the University of Oxford for their support of this pilot phase of IDESR. We believe it will provide proof of concept to inform future funding bids to enable the expansion of IDESR to include systematic reviews from all sub-fields of Education.

Keep up to date with developments at IDESR, including when we will be accepting protocol registrations from fields outside Language Education by following the IDESR blog and on Twitter @idesr_org.

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Before you register your review

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Currently IDESR is only accepting registrations for systematic reviews in Language Education.

Check the inclusion criteria and submission guidance to make sure that your review is eligible for inclusion in IDESR Registry.
Ensure that you have written your protocol, and no major changes are anticipated at this stage. If you intend to have your protocol peer reviewed, you should do this before starting your application.
Search IDESR to ensure that you are not unnecessarily duplicating a review that has already been done, is being done by another team, or has been registered previously.
Search IDESR to ensure that your review has not already been registered by another member of your team.
Confirm that your protocol has not been and will not be registered elsewhere.
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Inclusion criteria for IDESR protocols

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IDESR is currently accepting registrations of protocols for systematic reviews in the field of language education.

We operationalise language education as follows:

The review must have at least one second/additional language learning- or teaching-related outcome. These can be measures of second/additional language proficiency/development, as well as measures related to cognitive control and psychosocial variables (e.g., second language anxiety; second language motivation; second language willingness to communicate etc.). We are currently not accepting systematic reviews of studies that have solely first language outcomes, and reviews that synthesise descriptions/investigations of language use (corpus studies, for example).

We operationalise systematic reviews as follows:

Systematic reviews are rigorous, transparent and replicable reviews of research literature. High quality systematic reviews aim to identify all relevant published and unpublished research reports on a given topic and provide an unbiased summary of totality of that evidence.

Systematic reviews select for inclusion reports of studies using a series of transparent and replicable steps. These include applying a predetermined systematic search strategy and assessment of the eligibility of studies for inclusion using clear inclusion/exclusion criteria.

The quality of each study included in the review should be assessed for trustworthiness. The criteria by which trustworthiness is assessed is informed by the types of study eligible for the review. For example, reviews of experiments might use the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool, or Gorard's Sieve. Reviews of qualitative studies might use the Quality in Qualitative Evaluation Tool; observational studies might use the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

The assembled body of evidence should be synthesised using narrative and/or statistical synthesis (meta-analysis) and interpreted taking into account the quality of the studies included.

For more information about the characteristics of high quality systematic reviews, reference should be made to PRISMA (the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) at www.prisma-statement.org.

Note: Although the terms are often used interchangeably, a meta-analysis is not a systematic review, it is a statistical technique. A systematic review may incorporate a meta-analysis, but to be considered a systematic review, the study must adhere to the methodological characteristics summarised above.

Protocol Registration

Before embarking on a systematic review, it is good scientific practice to prepare a protocol detailing the steps that will be taken to reduce biases in preparing the review, and to make this protocol publicly available. This helps to guard against poor scientific practices, such as outcome switching, selective reporting, and failure to publish. In addition, protocol registration helps to reduce unnecessary duplication of effort (by allowing prospective reviewers to check if other researchers have already embarked on a review addressing the same or a similar topic), and to foster collaboration (by alerting reviewers to other groups interested in the same or similar topics). It also gives reviewers an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to open science. This is one of the key objectives of the IDESR Registry.

How to register your protocol

Before you start

Check IDESR for systematic reviews that have already been published or that are ongoing or proposed. Use the search box on the home page of the IDESR website to do this. Your search will return any records of published systematic reviews and protocols of ongoing and/or planned systematic reviews registered in the IDESR database. Satisfy yourself that your proposed review does not unnecessarily duplicate work that has been or is being done. If it does, consider collaborating with the researchers involved.

You should have a complete or near complete protocol. If you intend to have your protocol peer-reviewed, this should be done before you begin the registration process. Protocols should be prepared in accordance with PRISMA-P (the PRISMA extension for protocols for systematic reviews), available here.

Confirm that work on the review has not progressed beyond the search phase. We understand that reviewers may have piloted their search strategy and may have screened some of the records returned in the pilot to help refine their inclusion/exclusion criteria before they are ready to submit a protocol registration. Thus, we do not insist that no work has been undertaken in the preparation of the review prior to registration. However, pre-registration is only helpful in reducing the potential for bias if it happens before the main bulk of the work on the review begins. That said, sometimes during the process of conducting a systematic review, new information comes to light and changes to the protocol are deemed necessary. In such cases, an update to the protocol should be submitted to IDESR. This will be date-stamped and published alongside the original protocol. This provides an audit trail for the review, keeping methodological choices open and transparent.

Protocols for completed and/or published systematic reviews should not be registered.

Protocols registered on IDESR should not be registered elsewhere. To maintain the integrity of the protocol registration process, only one version of a protocol registration should exist.

Submissions to IDESR must be in English. Though great fans of multilingualism, the IDESR team is not able to process applications in languages other than English. However, search terms may be in any language, and authors can include a link to different language versions of the protocol if they wish.

Registering your protocol

To register the protocol for your systematic review, first set up an IDESR account. You can do this here.

Once you have set up your account you will be able to access the protocol registration form. Completion is straightforward and involves entering the relevant information from your protocol into the appropriate fields on the form. A blank version of the form is available here (PDF/Word) to assist with preparing your draft protocol before finalising it for upload.

Once you have completed all the fields and clicked 'submit', you will receive a confirmation email and your application will be sent to one of the IDESR team for review. Once it has been reviewed you will receive an email telling you either a) that the application has been accepted for publication; b) that further information is required before your submission can be accepted; or c) that the application has been rejected (stating the reasons for this).

Note: IDESR is a clearinghouse for registrations of systematic review protocols, not an arbiter of the necessity or merit of any individual review, nor a judge of a review's methodological quality. These are matters for the review team, its funders, and the body providing peer review of the research. The IDESR team is responsible only for confirming that a protocol registration reflects the minimum criteria for systematic review protocols, as laid out in PRISMA-P, and to make a permanent, publicly available record of those which do. The decision to accept or reject your application will be made on the basis of these criteria only.

Access to your application will be suspended while it is being processed.

Once accepted, your registration will be converted to a PDF file and added to the IDESR Registry, and it will be made available to view by all users of the site.

Once published on the IDESR website, you will be able to update your registration if necessary. All updates will be date stamped to provide an audit trail.

On completion of your review you should update the record to say that the review is complete and to provide information about where it has been published. Bibliographic information about your published review will be added to the IDESR Library and will include a link back to your IDESR protocol.

Copyright

Authors of published protocols retain the copyright to their words and grant IDESR exclusive rights to publish them in the form of an IDESR protocol registration. Authors agree to these being published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence. This license allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

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Your registered records

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Tell us about a systematic review that we don't have

We have searched extensively for systematic reviews in language education, but inevitably we may have missed some. If you know of a systematic review that we don’t have, we want to know about it. First, please check the IDESR database by searching by author name, keyword or title. If the record does not exist in the IDESR database, please use the form below to let us know. Please complete as many fields as possible.

We operationalise systematic reviews as literature reviews that have a methods section. At minimum, the methods section should describe the way that literature was searched for and what the inclusion criteria were. Ideally, a systematic review will adhere to all defining criteria laid out in the PRISMA statement.

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About IDESR

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The International Database of Education Systematic Reviews (IDESR) is a free-at-the-point-of-access electronic database of published systematic reviews in the field of Education and an online space where planned and ongoing Education systematic reviews can be registered, searched for and viewed.

IDESR is currently in its first phase of development, focusing on cataloguing and registering systematic reviews from one sub-field of Education: language education. This phase of the project has been generously supported by a John Fell Fund award and will serve as proof of concept for future funding bids to support the expansion of IDESR to include systematic reviews from all sub-fields of Education.

If you have any questions or feedback about IDESR, please contact hamish.chalmers@education.ox.ac.uk
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Rationale

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Ethical and useful research should build on what is already known, and systematic reviews of existing research are key in this regard. Systematic reviews aim to locate, critically assess, and synthesise the totality of reliable evidence relevant to a particular topic or question. When looking to inform educational policy, decision makers frequently rely on systematic reviews for an up-to-date, quality-assessed overview of available evidence. Teachers, teacher educators and publishers also look to systematic reviews for digestible, evidence-based guidance, seeking to underpin pedagogy and materials development with substantiated insights and approaches, a practice which is ultimately beneficial to their learners and so to society at large. Systematic reviews are thus a crucial element of the knowledge base on which the field of Education is founded. Despite their importance, however, locating systematic reviews in Education can be difficult and time-consuming. A dedicated database of Education systematic reviews is needed to simplify the location of Systematic Reviews in Education.

In addition to a database of completed systematic reviews, Education lacks a platform through which to register ongoing and planned systematic reviews. Prospective registration provides transparency by providing a permanent record of planned systematic reviews, irrespective of whether they are eventually published, and helps to detect and address publication bias (with underreporting of 'unflattering' or 'unexciting reviews'). Prospective registration helps researchers and other users to assess the published versions of systematic reviews against their protocols, and helping them to identify instances of poor practice, e.g., outcome switching. Prospective registration also helps those commissioning or planning systematic reviews to identify whether reviews on their chosen topic are already in preparation, thus helping to avoid duplication of effort, and facilitating collaboration. While registries for planned systematic reviews exist in other disciplines (e.g., PROSPERO for health-related reviews), until IDESR there has been no such registry in Education.

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Team

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IDESR is coordinated by Dr Hamish Chalmers of the Department of Education, University of Oxford. Initial set up of IDESR was supported by Dr Jessica Briggs Baffoe-Djan and Jessica Brown (IDESR Research Assistant), and the IDESR advisory group as listed below.

Judy Sebba
Judy Sebba
University of Oxford, UK
Penelope Woolf
Penelope Woolf
University of Oxford, UK
Cathy Scutt
Cathy Scutt
University of Oxford, UK
Sarah Miller
Sarah Miller
Queens University Belfast and the Campbell Collaboration, UK
Robert Boruch
Robert Boruch
University of Pennsylvania, USA
David Gough
David Gough
University College London, UK
Hilda Bastien
Hilda Bastien
Bond University, Australia
Alex Quigley
Alex Quigley
Education Endowment Foundation, UK

The IDESR website was built and is maintained by Gordon Dooley and Metaxis Software Design.

If you have any questions or feedback about IDESR, please contact hamish.chalmers@education.ox.ac.uk

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Your registered records

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You don't have any records yet. Click on 'New registration record' above to get started.

Below is a list of your records. Records that have been submitted are locked until an administrator has approved or rejected them. Records that have been published may not be edited but may be updated.

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Contact

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For any questions about this site please contact Dr Hamish Chalmers idesr@education.ox.ac.uk

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IDESR disclaimer

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Disclaimer
To the extent permitted by law, IDESR provides this website and its contents on an "as is" basis and makes no representation or warranty of any kind regarding this website or any information, content, products or services on it. IDESR does not represent or warrant that the information accessible via this website is accurate, complete or current. In no circumstances, to the extent permitted by law, shall IDESR or any of its officers or employees be liable for any loss, additional costs or damage (howsoever arising) suffered as a result of any use of this website or its contents.

Links to third party information
This website includes links to third party web sites. These links are used to provide further information and are not intended to signify that IDESR endorses such websites and/or their content. IDESR takes no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered as a result of using the information published on any of the pages of the linked web sites.

Published Protocols
This website publishes protocol registrations submitted by users of the IDESR platform. IDESR takes no responsibility for the information contained in those protocols and consequently, IDESR does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information.

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Privacy poicy

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IDESR is committed to protecting your privacy, as an IDESR account holder and/or user of our website. This privacy policy explains how we collect and use personal data we collect from you, or that you provide.

Who we are

IDESR is housed at The Department of Education, University of Oxford. The key personnel at IDESR are named on the Team page of the IDESR website. The IDESR website was built and is maintained by Metaxis Software Design, and is stored on servers owned by Metaxis.

The IDESR blog, linked to from this website but not part of it, is housed on Wordpress.com and is covered by Wordpress's privacy policy.

The information we collect

IDESR account holders

When users set up an IDESR account for the purpose of registering protocols of planned and ongoing systematic reviews, we ask for first and last names, email address, institutional affiliation, and geographical location. When an account holder submits a protocol registration form, we ask for the name, institutional affiliation, email address and physical mailing address of the main contact/corresponding author. We also ask for the names, institutional affiliations, and email addresses of any additional authors.

All IDESR users

We use Google Analytics to provide information about site usage. Information such as your IP address and your usage of our website is automatically collected each time you visit.

Cookies

Our websites use cookies – small text files that are placed on your machine to help the websites provide a better user experience. In general, cookies are used to retain user preferences, store information for things like your protocol registrations, and provide anonymised tracking data to third party applications like Google Analytics. As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to disable cookies on this site and on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. We suggest consulting the Help section of your browser or taking a look at the About Cookies website which offers guidance for all modern browsers.

How do we use your data?

We use the lawful bases of consent, contract and legitimate interests to process your personal data.

IDESR account holders

We may use your personal information to:

  • Administer and communicate with you for any reason related to your IDESR account
  • Send you email reminders when updates to any protocols you have registered are due
  • Notify you of any changes to our services
  • Respond to any enquiries made by you

All IDESR users

We may use personal information to:

  • Understand how the IDESR website is used by its visitors, via information collected by third party services like Google Analytics
  • Maintain the safety and security of our websites and other online platforms, and to prevent fraud

Sharing your information

We may share your personal information with:

  • Any member of IDESR operational staff. The type of personal data shared will be relevant to the purpose for which the data is used. For example, to communicate with you via email to tell you the outcome of a protocol registration application.
  • Providers of IT services for administration of our websites and management of our internal systems.
  • Analytics and search engine providers such as Google Analytics, to help us to improve our website and your user experience.
  • Regulators, financial organisations, fraud detection and crime prevention agencies. This will be in order to comply with any legal obligations or mandatory reporting requirements.

In addition, accepted protocol registrations will be published on the IDESR website and will include the information provided by the IDESR account holder about the main contact/corresponding author and any additional authors. Published protocol registrations are freely available to view and download by any user of the IDESR website.

In addition, anonymised analytics information (for example geographical locations of users of the site, pages views, length of time on the site, etc.) may be used to provide usage reports for IDESR, its funders, and in any applications for funding support in the future. These anonymised data may also be used in scholarly publications about the IDESR project.

Where is your personal data is stored?

IDESR is based in the UK and is currently bound by regulations applying to members of the EEA (European Economic Area). We may transfer, store and process the data we collect from you at a destination outside of the EEA. Where it is necessary to do so, we will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to treat your data securely and in accordance with this policy. After 31 December 2020 we will review our privacy policy in the light of any changes to the UK's relationship with the EEA.

Information you provide is stored on our in-house servers and with third-party cloud providers. This policy covers processing once your information has been received by IDESR and does not cover any processing which may be carried out by your internet service provider (ISP). Any transmission of data via the internet is not completely secure and at your own risk. We recommend that you keep any passwords issued for access to our website and your personal information confidential.

Retention of your information

Unless we inform you otherwise, we will retain your personal information as follows:

  • For as long as is required to provide services you have requested as an IDESR account holder.
  • For as long as is necessary for our own legitimate interests (such as investigating misuse of the IDESR platform)
  • For retention periods in line with legal and regulatory requirements or guidance.
  • Accepted protocol registrations, including the personal data contained therein, are published permanently.

Your rights

You have several rights regarding the collection and use of your personal data. These include, but are not limited to a right to:

  • Be informed about the collection and processing of your personal data
  • Access to your personal information and how we process it
  • Object to the processing of your personal information
  • Rectification of any inaccurate personal information or have incomplete information completed
  • Erasure of personal information if we no longer have a lawful basis for retaining or processing it
  • Data portability – obtain and re-use your data in a commonly used, machine-readable format
  • Withdraw consent
  • Object to automated decision making and profiling

These do not apply in all circumstances. If you wish to use them, we will explain whether they are applicable in that instance.

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). It is usually expected that you would raise your concern with us, in the first instance.

Other websites

This privacy policy only covers our websites. Any other websites which are linked to from our websites have their own privacy policies which may differ from ours. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies.

Updates to this Privacy Policy

We may change this privacy policy from time to time in response to changes in the law and/or how we use your personal information. We recommend that you review the contents of this privacy policy regularly. Your continued use of the websites after changes are posted constitutes your acceptance of this agreement as modified.

Contact us

If you have any questions, comments, requests or complaints about this privacy policy or how we treat your personal data, then please contact the editor of IDESR Dr Hamish Chalmers, in the first instance:

Department of Education
University of Oxford
15 Norham Gardens
Oxford
OX2 6PY

+44 (0)1865 284091

hamish.chalmers@education.ox.ac.uk

Subject access requests are free. We will respond to your request within one month.

If you believe that we have not met our obligations, you are entitled to contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

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