Screening results

Export results from a database

Before screening your search results, you will need to export them from each database.

Start exporting results when all your search strategies are finalised, and no further edits are anticipated.

Find instructions on how to export from multiple databases in our EndNote support page.

Refer to this table for EndNote export limits and tips on bulk exporting: Comparative table of databases (pdf, 196.1KB)

Use EndNote to screen results

The Library provides access to EndNote, a citation tool that can be used to manage search results for a systematic review.

Other screening tools for systematic reviews

While the Library only provides access to and support for EndNote, there are many other collaborative tools that you can use for screening.

Popular paid tools include:

  • Covidence: a tool recommended by Cochrane for screening and data extraction. Your first review is free of charge. Subscription fees apply for additional reviews. A full subscription is available to staff and students in the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the School of Psychology. 
  • Eppi-Reviewer: a comprehensive tool used for the searching, screening, and synthesis stages of a systematic review. It is freely available to Cochrane-affiliated researchers.

Free alternatives include:

  • Covidence free trial: allows 2 reviewers to conduct 1 review.
  • Rayyan QCRI: a web-based tool for collaborative screening. It learns selection patterns to assist with labelling of studies.
  • Abstrackr: a web-based tool for collaborative screening and labelling abstracts for relevance.
  • Picoportal: a systematic review platform.

More screening tools (both paid and free) can be found using the Systematic Review Toolbox—a comprehensive catalogue of tools to support systematic reviews.

Screen search results

To control bias and minimise the risk of excluding relevant studies, screening is usually done by two or more independent reviewers.

A standard workflow for this process might be:

  1. Remove duplicate records.
  2. Screen titles and abstracts to remove articles which obviously don’t meet the inclusion criteria.
  3. Find the full text of all potentially relevant articles.
  4. Screen full text articles and assess for inclusion in the review against the criteria outlined in your protocol.
  5. Record numbers of articles included and excluded at each step according to the PRISMA / PRISMA Extensions Flowchart 

If your resources are limited, you might choose to do the first screening (Step 2) yourself and involve a second reviewer for the second screening (Step 4) when selection criteria are applied to full-text analysis.

Locate full text articles

If using EndNote, you can attach most full text articles automatically using the “Find Full Text” function. 

For articles that EndNote can’t find, check the Library catalogue . When you have found the full text, attach it to your article records in EndNote manually (refer to the EndNote manual for instructions). 

If you find that the Library does not have access to the required article, you can request it via Resource Sharing.

  • Contact

    Librarians cannot assist with screening search results. Please contact your supervisor or a subject expert in your faculty for assistance. For help with planning and performing searches:

    Contact a librarian