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Systematic Reviews

Learn about conducting systematic reviews

Tools & Software

Conducting a systematic review without the use of a citation management tool will prove to be difficult, if not impossible. Citation management tools are tools for storing, organizing and managing citations. These tools can help you track citation numbers, organize or  group citations, and de-duplicate records.

Additional software can be used to support with the various components of the systematic review process. Some of these tools are free to use; some are associated with a fee. Look to see if a free trial will meet your needs. 

In addition to the software listed below, the Cochrane Community provides a suite of tools to support the review process. 

Citation Management Tools

RefWorks logo

RefWorks is subscription tool that helps you manage, share and cite your sources. All UC Merced students, faculty and staff can create a RefWorks account. RefWorks now offers a new interface and enhanced functionality.  More details are available at RefWorks.

Zotero Logo
Zotero is an open source Firefox extension that helps you gather, organize, analyze and share sources. Learn to use Zotero by watching Zotero TutorialsMore about Zotero.

Mendeley Logo
Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that helps you manage, discover and share the latest research. Learn how to use Mendeley with these video tutorialsMore about Mendeley.

EndNote Web Logo
Endnote Web is a scaled-down version of EndNote that comes with the library's subscription to Web of Science. Learn to use EndNote Web with EndNote Tutorials and Training Tools

Tools & Software

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Systematic Review Toolbox is catalog of tools and software searchable by which task you would like to accomplish.

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Excel is the most basic tool for screening citations. You can export citations from your citation management tool and create customized workbooks and spreadsheets.

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Abstrackr, created by Brown University, Abstrackr aids in screening abstracts.

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ATLAS.ti is a qualitative research tool that can be used to code and analyze for coding and analyzing articles, grey literature, transcripts and more. A full-feature trial version is available with no time limitations for up to ten documents. 

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Covidence is an easily sharable among several reviewers and allows for independent title/abstract screening, full text screening, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment. Covidence is required by reviewers doing Cochrane systematic reviews. It currently allows a free trial to do a single review shared between two reviewers.

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DistillerSR from Evidence Partners allows for the management of the entire systematic review process with multiple independent reviewers. Requires a monthly subscription fee.

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Rayyan is a free online tool that screens, analyzes, and extracts data. You can export citations from a management tool or directly from the databases themselves. It is easily shareable among several reviewers and screening and coding. It uses tagging and filtering to code and organize references, screen, analyze, and extract data from systematic reviews. Rayyan also has a free mobile app (iOS/Android).

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RevMan is a free online tool used by Cochrane reviewers to manage the data extraction and analysis process.

SysRev offers a free version of its online tool to support project management, small group and team collaborations, and the inclusion/exclusion screening process.