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Systematic Reviews and Other Comprehensive Searching: Tools

Yale Tools

Yale MeSH Analyzer 
A MeSH analysis grid can help identify the problems in your search strategy by presenting the ways articles are indexed in the MEDLINE database in an easy-to-scan tabular format. 

Covidence is a web-based program that allows research teams to manage their bibliographic data, PDFs, forms for risk of bias, and data extraction.  Reviewers can do title and abstract screening with very little fuss. Contact your librarian to have a Covidence review set up for your team.

Other Tools for the Team

Assessing Quality of Research

Assessment of multiple systematic reviews (AMSTAR) PMID:17302989 and PMID: 19230606

GRADE guidelines

Jadad scale for quality RCTs - PMID: 8721797

Quality assessment instrument for diagnostic studies (QUADAS-2) PMID: 22007046

Appraising the Evidence (from CASP)

Data Extraction and Analysis Tools

DistillerSR | Web-based systematic review software (not free)

RevMan 5 (Cochrane Collaboration - free of charge for purely academic use)

Elamin MB, Flynn DN, Bassler D, et al. Choice of data extraction tools for systematic reviews depends on resources and review complexity. J Clin Epidemiol. 2009; 62(5):506-10. PMID: 19348977

Systematic Review Data Repository Effective Health Care Program, AHRQ

More Software [recommendations from the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine @ Brown]

Systematic Review Toolbox  |  a searchable online catalogue of tools to support systematic reviews


Systematic Searches Tutorial Series

This series of eleven tutorials cover the fundamental concepts and general procedure of searching the health science literature in a systematic manner. The goal of these tutorials is to ensure that your search is comprehensive, methodical, transparent and reproducible, so that your conclusions are as unbiased and closer to truth as possible.


Systematic Reviews: Planning, Writing, and Supporting

This research guide is geared to Librarians.