Plan how you're going to manage the files and records for your review well ahead.
Use a search planner as a living document throughout the process. Deakin University has a suggested search planner here which you could adapt. Or try the spreadsheet devised at Monash University, which has a different sheet for each database searched.
A PRISMA flow diagram will be useful for organising a workflow for your review, including recording the number of results you have after each stage of the screening process.
Sumari and Rayyan are specifically designed to help you manage all the steps of a systematic review, while the groups and de-duplicating functions of EndNote will be really useful, especially if combined with thematic tagging in Nvivo.
The Systematic Review Toolbox is a constantly evolving online catalogue of tools for all systematic reviews, including software, critical appraisal, reporting standards and guidelines. You can search by discipline, cost (including free) and the stage of the review you are interested in.
EndNote is software that can be of great help with any type of review. See our EndNote Library Resource Guide for detailed instructions on how to download this tool and use it to organise your literature, store your PDF files and generate lists of references.
EndNote is particularly useful for systematic reviews as (among other things) it enables you to:
You may also consider inserting the inclusion and exclusion criteria checklist into a notes field in each EndNote record.
More detailed information can be found in the University of Newcastle's guide, EndNote Tips for Systematic Reviewers.
NVivo can be used with EndNote to help you identify articles, key findings and influential authors when conducting a literature review. NVivo can import PDF files and bibliographic information from EndNote, organise and tag literature, help you keep track of critical quotes and track ideas.
See our EndNote and NVivo for Literature Review Library Resource Guide for detailed information about using NVivo with EndNote. We also run online workshops on this from time to time, so check our calendar for upcoming sessions.
SUMARI stands for System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information, and it's published by the Joanna Briggs Institute at the University of Adelaide. SUMARI "facilitates the entire review process, from protocol development, team management, study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction, data synthesis and writing your systematic review report. ... a word processor, reference management program, statistical and qualitative data analysis program all in one easy to use web application." [from https://www.jbisumari.org/].
For instructions on how to access JBI SUMARI, and on how to accept an invitation to participate in a project, see the Access to JBI SUMARI box below.
Rayyan is a free online tool that can be used for screening and coding studies in a systematic review. It supports collaboration between reviewers, and includes a mobile app for convenient screening wherever you are. See the Rayyan for Systematic Reviews guide from McGill University for further advice on this tool.
Produced by Cochrane, Covidence SR management software is highly respected and available for individual subscription through their website. (Charles Sturt currently does not hold an organisational subscription). A trial version is available for reviews with 500 citations or fewer.
Access to SUMARI
On 31 January 2022, JBI introduced a new login process for JBI Tools, of which SUMARI is one.
Joining a SUMARI project
SUMARI project owners can send invitations to other users to participate in a project as a secondary reviewer. If you are invited to participate in a project you will receive an invitation by email:
To accept an invitation to participate in a JBI SUMARI Project you need to have already created a JBI SUMARI account. See notes above.
Once you have your current JBI SUMARI account set up, you can accept an invitation to join a project, by clicking on the link in the email.
Please note that invitation URLs expire within 72 hours of being sent. If an invitation URL expires then the project owner will need to issue a new invitation.
When you click on the invitation link, you will get the options to log in to SUMARI via MYJBI or via Ovid. Both will work, but the via Ovid method is simpler.
When you have logged in to SUMARI, a semi-transparent green message should briefly (5 seconds) appear in the top right of the SUMARI window confirming your access to the project, and the new project should appear in your list of JBI Sumari Projects:
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