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Conducting a Systematic Review

Class Description

Conducting a Systematic Review: An Overview

Have you ever considered conducting a systematic review? This overview class will present the process, some standards and tools for conducting a systematic review. This includes framing your question, developing your protocol and methodology including a thorough search strategy, and tools for managing your references and screening data. The role of the librarian in the process emphasized.


At the end of this session participants will:

  • Define a systematic review.
  • Know the steps involved in conducting a systematic review.
  • Understand the importance of the search in the systematic review.
  • Identify resources and tools available for assistance in conducting the review.
  • Understand the potential role of the librarian in the systematic review process.

Systematic Review Class Recording


This webinar was recorded on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 as part of the Touro Faculty Research Series.


Tools for Screening and Selection


In your protocol you have already established the eligibility criteria for inclusion. In other words, what does the study need to look like in order to answer your research question? What is the population? Age? Time frame? Problem? Intervention?

Since you have cast a wide net and completed a rigorous search, you have many studies from which to choose. You will now use this criteria for screening and selecting.

Remember, screening and selection requires two or more reviewers to work independently from one another. This reduces any chance of bias.

Here are two tools that may help in this process. Keep in mind, Covidence goes beyond the initial screening process and into selecting, it also allows you to extract the data. 

Rayyan QCRI

Rayyan is similar to Covidence but less costly. It too is a web-tool that dramatically speeds up the process of sorting and screening.  Unlike Covidence it is free, but also unlike Covidence, Rayyan does not go beyond the screening process to the selection or data extraction phase. Covidence does.


Covidence logo


Covidence is a web based tool that streamlines your ability to screen, select, as well as extract the data from the selected studies for your systematic review.   It can also Generate this PRISMA flow diagram and can export quality assessment, risk of bias, and study data to RevMan to generate reports and MetaAnalysis.‚Äč

Outside of the free trial though, Covidence is fee based. 


Exporting studies From Covidence to:

Review Manager (RevMan)

When you have completed the data extraction in Covidence for each included study, you are now ready to export your data to RevMan.

Here is a link to short video to see how this is done:

RevMan 5 (desktop version) 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.