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Evidence Synthesis : Tools for Systematic Reviews

Useful resources and tools for planning and conducting systematic reviews

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Managing References/Citations

Citation managers can be helpful in storing, annotating, and sorting large sets of article abstracts in the systematic review process. Many citation managers, including those listed here, provide the ability for collaboration with project team members.  UA Libraries provides support for 

Reviewing Abstracts

Once your team has completed searches for articles that match the criteria established with your research questions, you will need to a establish a system for reviewing the full set of articles utilizing your systematic review protocol to determine which articles will be included and excluded in your final paper. One free tool that may be helpful in this process is Rayyan.

Rayyan provides the following options for sorting and reviewing abstracts:

  • Upload citations in multiple formats (i.e., RIS, nbib, CSV, EndNote, Web of Science, BibTex, etc.)
  • Invite multiple team members to review the articles/abstracts from the same project, including use of a live chat feature
  • Facilitate a blinded review process, allowing multiple users to include or exclude individual articles/abstracts without seeing others' decisions.
  • Annotate and label article/abstract and attach full-text PDFs
  • Export articles/abstracts with decisions, labels, and notes

 

Deduplication

As you gather articles across multiple databases, especially in using broad citation indexes such Web of Science, you will likely have duplicates for the records that you have downloaded. While you can deduplicate by hand, both Rayyan and EndNote provide automated deduplication features to aid in this process.

For EndNote's step-by-step guide and video tutorial on deduplication, check out Clarivate's deduplication guide.

For Rayyan, checkout the step-by-step deduplication guide from the Rayyan Help Center.

RefWorks can run a deduplication of your citation database by using the Tools, Find Duplicates feature.