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Systematic Reviews: Managing search results

A guide to assist staff and students undertaking systematic reviews

Systematic reviewing tools and software

There are several software packages available which provide guidance and management of the systematic review process. See Cochrane tools and software.


Cleo, G., Scott, A. M., Islam, F., Julien, B., & Beller, E. (2019). Usability and acceptability of four systematic review automation software packages: a mixed method design. Systematic Reviews, 8(1), Article 145.

Kellermeyer, L., Harnke, B., & Knight, S. (2018). Covidence and Rayyan. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 106(4), 580–583. [Note: since this article was published, Rayyan has started charging a monthly fee.]

Reference management software (EndNote)

Reference management software such as EndNote can be used to store, manage, organise, search and reference literature found during the search portion of the systematic review.

EndNote allows you to:

  • De-duplication of references
  • Easily manage large numbers of references
  • Import references automatically from databases
  • Record details of where the reference was obtained (e.g. database, date, search statement) – Groups & Custom Fields)
  • Record progress of interlibrary loans (ordered/received) – Custom Fields & Smart Groups
  • Annotate/code references for inclusion, exclusion, background – Custom Fields & Smart Groups
  • Export references for screening in a separate tool such as Covidence
  • Create citations & reference lists when writing
  • Create reference lists of papers included/excluded
  • Share your EndNote library with co-authors
  • Conduct a frequency analysis of keywords in your library using Terms List & Subject Bibliography tools to improve the search terms used.