Nutrition and Dietetics

Tools to Manage the Systematic Review Process

There are several tools that help organize the systematic review process.  While many researchers use a spreadsheet to do this, others prefer a specialized instrument.  Some require a paid subscription, others are free of charge.  Each product has its own strengths, and as every research project is different, we do not recommend one over the other.   All are web-based. 


Covidence:  "A web-based software platform that streamlines the production of systematic reviews, including Cochrane Reviews. Citation screening, Full text review, Risk of Bias assessment, Extraction of study characteristics and other study data, Export of data into RevMan. Nonprofit organization, open source software." (first SR free for 2 reviewers, then fee-based)




Distiller"DistillerSR is the the world’s most used systematic review software. It was designed from the ground up to give you a better review experience, faster project completion and transparent, audit-ready results." (fee-based) 


JBI SUMARI: "The System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (SUMARI) is the Joanna Briggs Institute's premier software for the systematic review of literature. It is designed to assist researchers and practitioners in fields such as health, social sciences and humanities to conduct systematic reviews. SUMARI supports 10 review types, including reviews of effectiveness, qualitative research, economic evaluations, prevalence/incidence, aetiology/risk, mixed methods, umbrella/overviews, text/opinion, diagnostic test accuracy and scoping reviews. It facilitates the entire review process, from protocol development, team management, study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction, data synthesis and writing your systematic review report. Essentially, it is a word processor, reference management program, statistical and qualitative data analysis program all in one easy to use web application." (fee-based)



Rayyan"Rayyan is a web application to help systematic review authors perform their job in a quick, easy and enjoyable fashion. Authors create systematic reviews, collaborate on them, maintain them over time and get suggestions for article inclusion." (free; new)


Additional Resources:

AMSTAR- AMSTAR is a tool to evaluate the quality of an existing systematic review. AMSTAR stands for A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews. It is an excellent indication of how other researchers will evaluate your systematic review.

Brown School of Public Health provides a list of additional resources for systematic reviews and meta-analysis.