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Table 4 Comparing the three methods of tracking extracted data

From: Increasing value and reducing waste in data extraction for systematic reviews: tracking data in data extraction forms

Methods Advantages Disadvantages
Simple annotation • Available
• Easy
• Full texts must be available
• Ties user to original highlighted PDF
• Difficult to update
• Requires PDF editor
Descriptive addressing • Available
• Applicable to any PDF of same report
• Update is possible
• No editing required in PDF
• Full texts must be available
• Less easy than simple annotation
• Uniformity of location definition could be problematic
Cartesian coordinates • Possibility of hyperlinking from data to report
• Possibility of automating data quality check
• Ease of update
• Full texts must be available
• Piloting––unavailable to wide use