June Updates

Well, it’s been quite a while since we’ve provided an update on what’s been changing with Syras. The open ❤️ surgery went well, and we’ve had a number of other things that we’re very excited about…


This month (and a half):

  • 😅 Big imports, no sweat:
    You can now upload a file up to 30MB. This makes getting started with a big project a breeze. 15,000 articles is still the Syras article limit, but you can get them all in there in one big file, if you’re game!
  • 💨 Loading at the speed of fast:
    We’ve switched Syras to Ludicrous mode. No, but seriously, we’ve made some really great performance improvements to Syras that make it a pleasure to work with. The best apps we use operate super quickly, and that’s tough to do with cloud apps. We made it our mission to make Syras load at the speed of fast. It shows. Just try it.
  • ⏭ When you’re not sure, now you can skip:
    You know those times when you’re not certain about an abstract, and you just want to get some more easy decisions under your belt before you tackle the tricky one? We’ve added a rating option called “Skipped” which means you can come back and make the decision when you feel better equipped.
  • 👍 Restructured article rating and navigation
    When you’re screening, you can have a simplified interface that is focused on taking you to the next unrated article. If you’re uncomfortable with giving a rating, just skip (like I said). That gives you an excuse to come back and review – which is what this is all about.

    The blue “Play” button will take you to the play-head – the furthest un-rated article. This lets you pick up where you left off.
Syras user interface for screening articles, without the navigation interface expanded.

The little arrow next to it will open up the full article navigation interface:

Syras user interface for screening articles, with the navigation interface expanded.

Here, you can step between excluded, included, and skipped articles. This is great for when you’re finalising your screening, stepping through skipped articles that you now need to rate as Included or Excluded, or for finding a few examples of articles you’ve already Included or Excluded.

  • 💅 Shiny new look
    We’ve made some subtle changes that make Syras feel more like a modern app. You might not notice immediately, but you should have a subtle sense of calm when you login next time.
  • It’s easier to get started:
    When you register, we used to make you login after you’d just entered your email + password. Step, eliminated. 🦾
  • 🏎 Less clicks to get to things
    We made it so that when you load a project, all the things you would want to do with article sets are available from that one screen. This sounds like a tweak, but for project administrators, it eliminates quite a few clicks, which we like.

And of course, stability and reliability stuff. If you’re curious about what that means, and you’re unsure why it’s included in every article you ever see, here’s a great example:

Defence against users uploading junk data: when the import can’t interpret what it’s been given, it was causing errors in multiple parts of the Syras app, possibly causing a complete reboot of the product. The user interface for the import progress panel would get stuck, and never recover. Now it handles these errors more gracefully, and tells the user more details about the problem.

Legendary Syras developer

See, it’s not bullshit. More reliable. More stable.


We’ve reached a big milestone with all of the above.

The app works very fast. The app imports articles effectively. The app has a great workflow for screening, then reviewing articles.

Those three things make our next milestone coming out of Beta. Look out for our 1.0 update, coming soon!

– Rusty

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