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Systematic and Systematic-like Reviews

Tools and Software - Planning

You should plan in advance how you will manage the files and records for your review.

  • Deakin University has a Systematic Review Planner document which you could adapt. It's available from Deakin's Systematic and systematic-like review toolkit.
  • 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.
  • 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 stage of review.
  • Retraction Watch is a website that track scientific papers that have been retracted. The reason for the retraction is also recorded.
  • Retractions Australia is an online resource dedicated to highlighting data regarding scientific retractions - the removal of published research papers from scientific journals.
  • Systematic Reviewlution is an website that compile evidence of Systematic Reviews that are not done well. 

Systematic Review Software


The Library has signed up for an unlimited license to Covidence. 

Covidence is an online tool used in the management and creation of systematic and systematic-like reviews. Covidence makes citation screening easier and supports many aspects of the systematic review process including full-text review, risk of bias assessment, extraction of study characteristics and outcomes, and the export of data and references. Covidence streamlines the production of reviews and enables a collaborative team-based approach to complex reviews. 

Access to Charles Sturt University’s Covidence account and projects 

If you are interested in using Covidence and are ready to start your review, please request a project through the Covidence website.

  1. Click on the sign-up to Covidence link
  2. Enter your information using your Charles Sturt University email address (e.g. and select "Request Invitation"
  3. An invitation will be emailed to you. Open the email invitation and select "Accept this invitation".
  4. Create a Covidence account, using the same email address. 

Covidence Training & Help

Contact if you need further help.


Access to Covidence reviews is available to staff and postgraduate students with a email address. Undergraduate students requiring access must have their lecturer or supervisor submit the review on their behalf. Alternatively, for immediate access, we recommend utilizing the free trial version of Covidence or JBI Sumari.

trial version is available for reviews with up to 500 citations and a maximum of two reviewers.


SUMARI System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information - is published by the Joanna Briggs Institute at the University of Adelaide. "JBI SUMARI facilitates the entire systematic review process, from project and team management to writing of the final report." [from]. It has 10 different methodologies for 10 different types of research questions. 

JBI SUMARI is available to Charles Sturt users

For a full range of help resources, go to the JBI Knowledge Base. It includes a link to the JBI SUMARI video playlist, a collection of 23 short videos.


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 screening. For more information about this tool, see McGill University's Rayyan for Systematic Reviews guide.

Systematic Review Accelerator (SRA)

Produced by the Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare at Bond University, the SRA is a suite of automation tools designed to speed up the systematic review process. You can access the tools at the Systematic Review Accelerator, but you might to check first the IEBH's Research tools webpage.

Tools for Organising and Analysing Your Literature


EndNote is a reference management software that you can use to download this tool and use it to organise your references, store your PDF files, and generate in-text citations and reference-lists. For information on how to download and use EndNote, go to our EndNote guide.

EndNote is particularly useful for systematic reviews as (among other things) it enables you to:

More detailed information can be found in the University of Newcastle's guide, EndNote tips for systematic reviewers.

For help with EndNote, contact a Faculty Librarian or attend an EndNote online workshop - see Join library workshops.


NVivo can be used in systematic and systematic-like reviews to code and analyse qualitative data. The Research Office conducts online workshops on NVivo - check the Researcher Training Calendar.

NVivo can be also be used in conjunction with EndNote. For information, see the Library's guide on EndNote and NVivo for Literature Review.

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.Acknowledgement of Country

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