Systematic Review using a Spiral approach with Machine Learning

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Systematic reviews have become increasingly time-consuming and costly due to the accelerating growth of academic literature, doubling every nine years. Machine learning (ML) offers a promising solution to manage the growing corpus of literature, but current approaches still rely on a sequential, two-staged process designed for a purely human approach. In this thesis, we propose and test a spiral or oscillating approach, where full-text screening is done intermittently with title/abstract screening. We examine this approach in three datasets by simulating 360 conditions with different algorithmic classifiers, feature extractions, prioritization rules, data types, and information provided. Our results overwhelmingly support the spiral processing approach with Logistic Regression, TF-IDF for vectorization, and Maximum Probability for prioritization, demonstrating up to a 90\% improvement over previous two-staged ML methodologies over just title-screening, particularly for databases with fewer eligible articles. These advancements have the potential to make systematic review screening functionally achievable for another one to two decades.
Saeidmehr, A. (2023). Systematic review using a spiral approach with machine learning (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from