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Systematic Reviews

Library workshop: So You Want to Do a Systematic Review

Systematic Review/Meta Analysis Software

Systematic Review Software

  • Covidence: helps streamline the systematic review process. You can create your review, invite others to join a review, and contribute to other reviews you've been invited to. Subscription is required. 
  • Distiller SR: a web-based systematic review software designed specifically for the screening and data extraction phases of a systematic review. Subscription is required. 
  • EPPI-Reviewer 4:  software for managing and analyzing data in literature review and has been developed for all types of systematic review such as meta-analysis, framework synthesis and thematic synthesis. This video demonstrates what the software can do with systematic reviews.
  • EROS (Early Review Organizing Software): web-based software desinged specifically for the first stages to perform systematic reviews.
  • RevMan: from Cochrane Collaboration, free for academic use, but support is only for registered Cochrane authors.
  • Rayyan: free tool (web and mobile app) for sorting articles into include/exclude status with labels. This video gives a brief introduction to Systematic Reviews and a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Rayyan.
  • Sysrev: free tool with paid subscription options for screening articles and data extraction 
  • Joanna Briggs Institute
    • Sumari (System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information), JBI's premier software for the systematic review of literature.
    • RAPID (Rapid Assessment Protocol Internet Database): an online training resource that provides a framework for critical appraisal of research papers using established data collection tools. RAPid has been designed to assist individual practitioners or students to acquire the skills of posing relevant questions about the feasibility, appropriateness, meaningfulness of an intervention or professional activity.
  • SRDR (Systematic Review Database Repository): from the Agency of Healthcare Research & Quality. It is a tool for the extraction and management of data for systematic review or meta-analysis. It is also an open and searchable archive of systematic reviews and their data.

Meta Analysis Software

  • CMA (Comprehensive Meta Analysis): computer program for conducting meta-analysis. This video provides a overview of the software.
  • MAStARI (Meta Analysis of Statistics Assessment and Review Instrument): Joanna Briggs Institute
  • MIX 2.0 Lite for meta analysis. The software is free to use and distribute as long as it is not for commercial purposes.
  • Pratical meta anlaysis effect size calculator : from the Campbell Collaboration. It is designed to facilitate the computation of effect-sizes for meta-analysis.

Text-Mining Tools



Tech Level




VIZ WFA Comments
Abstrackr Free Low   X       Systematic review support
AntCont Free Medium     X   X Requires installation
Carrott2 Free High   X       Requires installation
EndNote Free for UTHSC  Low         X Requires license and installation. Tutorials


Free Trial Medium X X       Requires installation
Excel Commercial Product Low         X Requires customized coding
GATE  Free High     X     Requires installation
GoPubMed Free Low X       X Requires registration; PubMed interface
MyMiner Free Medium     X     Requires installation
PubReMiner Free Low     X   X PubMed interface
TerMine Free Medium X         Web version for demonstration; register for batch service
tm for R Free High X         Requires coding / syntax
VOSviewer Free Medium     X X   Requires installation
Voyant Tools Free Medium     X X X Web-based
WordStat/SimStat Commercial Product High   X   X X Requires license and installation

 ATM = automatic term recognition; DTM = document term matrix; DCL = document classification; DCT = document clustering; TCA = text categorization; TCL = text cluster; VIZ: visualization; WFA: word frequency analysis

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Systematic Review Data Extraction and Management

Systematic Review Data Repository
The systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR) is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for the extraction and management of data for systematic review or meta-analysis. It is also an open and searchable archive of systematic reviews and their data. 

Cochrane RevMan
You can use RevMan for protocols and full reviews. It is most useful when you have formulated the question for the review and allows you to prepare the text, build the tables showing the characteristics of studies and the comparisons in the review, and add study data. It can perform meta-analyses and present the results graphically. Down load RevMan here.

Cochrane Data Extraction Template
This template aims to help you start developing your own data extraction form, it certainly has to be adapted to your specific question. Delete unnecessary information and include all information important to your field.  

Data Extraction Slides from AHRQ

The slides describe why data extract is important, data extraction challenges, forms, methods to collect data accurately and effectively, etc.

Systematic Review Toolbox

This site allows you to search for systematic review tools based on what you need, whether it's for screening or data extraction.