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Systematic Reviews in Health

Article Screening

A large part of any Systematic Review is actually a filtering/screening process of selecting studies for exclusion from, and inclusion in, the Systematic Review.  This is done in two stages:

1. Review title and abstract information - Use your inclusion/exclusion criteria to first screen the title and abstracts of your studies and determine whether they are relevant to your research 

2. Review full-text - Once titles and abstracts have been screened, the full text must be retrieved and screened to definitely decide whether the study fits the eligibility criteria of your review. At this stage it is essential to keep a log of excluded studies with reasons for exclusion.

Ideally, study selection is completed by two independent reviewers with a third person available for conflicts. Alternatively disagreement of study selection may resolved by discussion between the reviewers.  Specific article screening software, Covidence or Rayyan,  is available to manage this process.

Systematic Review Software at University of Canberra


Covidence is an online Systematic Review program developed by, and for, Systematic Reviewers. It can import citations from reference managers like EndNote, facilitate the screening of abstracts and full-text, populate risk of bias tables, assist with data extraction, and export to all common formats.

How to join University of Canberra’s Covidence institutional license:
  1. Go to
  2. Enter your information (using your OR email address) and click “Request Invitation” link
  3. Accept the invitation in your email
  4. Log in to your existing Covidence account or sign up for a new account
  5. If you have already joined the University of Canberra’s Covidence account, then you can log into Covidence with your email and password.
Creating a review using the University of Canberra’s unlimited license

After clicking the link “Create new review” you will have the option to use your personal account license or select the University of Canberra’s account.

Reviews created under the institutional license will be visible to the administrators of the University of Canberra Libraries Covidence account. Your personal account review(s) will only be seen by you.

NB: Our annual subscription fee for Covidence is based on the number of new reviews, so please do not create Test/Practice reviews.  Instead, refer to the Knowledge Base and/or generate a demo review; both are located near the sign in at the top of the page.

Self-help tools

Covidence provides access to self paced training videos accessible via this link.

For comprehensive information on how to use Covidence and for technical support please see the Covidence Academy and Covidence Knowledge Base .


Rayyan is a free online tool that anyone can use for screening and coding of studies in a Systematic Review. It uses tagging and filtering to code and organise references.  Rayyan makes completing a systematic review in teams or individually, more efficient.

Accessing Rayyan

Rayyan is free (Open Access) software.  Go to to sign up.  

For information on how to use Rayyan see the video and McGill University Rayyan Guide


SUMARI is JBI's software for Systematic Reviews.  It is designed for use in fields such as health, social sciences and humanities. SUMARI supports 10 review types including qualitative reviews, mixed methods reviews, scoping reviews and many more.  SUMARI allows you to easily work through the process, from protocol development, team management, study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction, data synthesis and writing your Systematic Review report.

Short videos on how to use SUMARi are available here.

Accessing the UC JBI SUMARI subscription