Skip to main content

Systematic Reviews: Software

High-quality systematic reviews are designed to identify all relevant published and unpublished evidence and provide an unbiased synthesis of the findings.

Software overview

There are many software tools that can help you with different steps in the systematic review process.  There is a wide variety of price ranges and a few are free or at least offer a trial version for free. The SR Toolbox provides a comprehensive list but does not evaluate them for quality. 

Recommended Software

Rayyan is a web-based program which coordinates the selection of studies. It's free, easy to share with collaborators, and includes a mobile app for screening studies on the go. It identifies disagreements and allows you to choose words to highlight in all citations to make it easier to scan titles and abstracts. iOS phone app is available for screening on the go.

Covidence is a web-based program used for Cochrane systematic reviews.  It coordinates screening and selection of studies; generates a PRISMA flow diagram; creates risk of bias tables and study characteristic tables;It facilitates data extraction for export to RevMan;. Android and iOS phone apps are available. Prices range from $250-450. 
EndNote is a great bibliographic management tool for systematic reviews.  You can use it to store, organize, and de-duplicate all the citations you collect from Medline, Cochrane, Embase, and other databases.  MD Anderson provides a desktop version of EndNote 8 to all staff.  The Library has a help guide and several short online tutorials on how to use it. 
Excel is a basic tool that can be used to manage screening and data extraction. Customized workbooks and spreadsheets can be designed for the review process. The library uses it for recording search string and tracking the numbers of citations found.
GRADEpro GDT free web-based software used to create Summary of Findings (SoF) tables for Cochrane systematic reviews.  
RevMan:  helps with protocol development, study selection, characteristics of studies tables, and writing Cochrane systematic reviews.