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Systematic Reviews for Health: Systematic Review Tools

A guide on how a Research Librarian can help you during a systematic review process

Systematic Review Tools

Managing the selection process can be challenging, particularly in a large-scale systematic review that involves multiple reviewers. There are various free and subscription-based tools available that support the study selection process (Cochrane Handbook, 4.6.6.1).

This page describes various tools available to help conduct a systematic review. The University of Tasmania has access to EndNote, Covidence and JBI SUMARI.

Covidence

Covidence is an online systematic review program developed by, and for, systematic reviewers. It can import citations from reference managers like EndNote, facilitate the screening of abstracts and full-text, populate risk of bias tables, assist with data extraction, and export to all common formats.

Covidence is a core component of Cochrane's review production toolkit and has recently also been endorsed by JBI.

Which version of Covidence is best for you?

  • Free trial version: for anyone wanting to try Covidence and find out whether it is suitable for their project. Gives you 1 free review for 2 reviewers
  • Free for Cochrane authors: Covidence is free to use for those authoring Cochrane reviews.
  • Limited subscription version: the UTAS Library has purchased a subscription for a Covidence account that provides 100 reviews for UTAS researchers. 100 reviews equates to 100 “projects”, with multiple collaborators being able to be added to single projects.

Guidelines for using one of the 100 purchased reviews

  • You are part of a health research team that works collaboratively on a systematic review, ie. there are at least two reviewers.
  • You have reached protocol status with your systematic review.
  • If you are unsure Covidence is for you, please try the free trial version first.

Access

  • For access to one of the 100 reviews in the UTAS Covidence account, please contact Research.Librarians@utas.edu.au
  • Please include an explanation why you would like access to Covidence and how many reviewers are on your team.

Help

Abstrackr

Abstrackr is a software for semi-automated abstract screening for systematic reviews. At present, Abstrackr is a free, open-source tool for facilitating the citation screening process. Upload your abstracts, invite reviewers, and get to screening!

Rayyan

Rayyan is a free online tool that can be used for screening and coding of studies in a systematic review. It uses tagging and filtering to code and organise references.

 

JBI SUMARI

The System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (SUMARI) is the Joanna Briggs Institute's software for the systematic review of literature.

It is designed to assist researchers to conduct systematic reviews and facilitates the entire review process. SUMARI supports 10 review types. It is especially useful for new review types and qualitative reviews.

University of Tasmania researchers have access to SUMARI via the JBI EBP Database, under EBP Tools.

RevMan

RevMan 5 is the software used for preparing and maintaining Cochrane Reviews. RevMan facilitates preparation of protocols and full reviews, including text, characteristics of studies, comparison tables, and study data. It can perform meta-analysis of the data entered, and present the results graphically.

RevMan 5 is no longer being developed, but they continue to support Cochrane authors.

RevMan Web is the next generation of Cochrane's software for preparing and maintaining systematic reviews. This web-based version of RevMan works across all platforms, is installation-free, and automatically updated. 

DistillerSR

DistillerSR is a systematic review software. It was designed from the ground up to provide a better review experience, faster project completion and transparent, audit-ready results.

What can you do in DistillerSR?
Upload your references from any reference management software, create screening and data extraction forms, lay out workflow and assign reviewers, monitor study progress and review process, export results (incl PRISMA flowchart automation).

This software is more sophisticated and a bit harder to learn. DistillerSR attracts a fee.

SR Toolbox

The Systematic Review Toolbox is a community-driven, searchable, web-based catalogue of tools that support the systematic review process across multiple domains. The resource aims to help reviewers find appropriate tools based on how they provide support for the systematic review process. Users can perform a simple keyword search (i.e. Quick Search) to locate tools, a more detailed search (i.e. Advanced Search) allowing users to select various criteria to find specific types of tools and submit new tools to the database.

Need More Help?
Book a consultation with a Research Services Librarian or contact Research.Librarians@utas.edu.au