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Systematic Reviews

This guide provides tips and strategies for conducting a systematic literature review.


Rayyan is a free systematic review tool that simplifies the screening of articles. The company has recently introduced a fee-based version with increased customer support and early access to new features.

Note the following, which is taken from the Rayyan for Systematic Reviews guide at McGill University:

Rayyan does not currently offer a simple way of hiding articles that have been excluded after the title/abstract stage.  

For this reason, we recommend exporting the included articles and using them to A) create a new Rayyan review for full text screening and B) creating a new EndNote library for the management of PDFs.

To create an RIS file of included articles:

1. Open your project

2. Limit your results to "Included" using the bar on the left hand

3. Click on "Export" at the top of the screen

4. Choose filtered results only and RefMan (RIS) format. Leave all tick boxes checked. Click on Export.

The results will be emailed to you in a zip file.  Unzip these results, and import the RIS file into a new project (click here for a reminder on how to do this).  We suggest giving your new project the same name as used for the title/abstract stage, with the addition of the words "FULL TEXT STAGE".


Note also that there is a Rayyan mobile app, but this has limited functionality with the free version of Rayyan. 


Covidence is a fee-based program that is widely used for systematic reviews and other types of evidence syntheses. Before paying for access to Covidence, you should first try the free trial.

For more videos, visit Covidence Academy on YouTube.