Systematic Review Tools for Systematic Reviews and Comprehensive Reviews

This is a version of the LibGuide I started while employed at Temple University Health Sciences Library from July 2015-September 12, 2022. I plan to maintain it here going forward.

Systematic Review Tools

This guide focuses on free or open source tools.


General Tools

Helpful for multiple stages of the review process.

Specific Tools for Planning the Review

Reporting Guidelines: Not sure what to report in your review, locate a reporting guideline.

Protocol Registration: A first step to organize the review and prevent bias is creating and registering a protocol.

Organizing & Collaborating with a Team: Teamwork is core to the systematic review.  

Tools for Literature Searching

Not interested in conducting your own search? Contact your librarian!

Citation Managers & Deduplication Software

Tools for Screening

Did you know screening includes 2 or more reviewers and must be done independent and blinded from the other reviewer(s)?

  • Rayyan
  • Rayyan-a Guide for Researchers
  • Abstrackr Semi-automated screening using machine learning.
  • Sysrev Helps facilitate screening, collaborative extraction of data from academic articles and abstracts, PDF documents, and uses machine learning. The free platform supports open access/public projects only. Fee for privacy settings.
  • RobotAnalyst RobotAnalyst is designed for searching and screening reference collections obtained from literature database queries. It combines search engine functionality with machine learning and text mining.
  • ASReview Utilizes active learning
  • Colandr Machine learning, natural language processing, and text-mining functions to partially automate screening.
  • DistillerSR (free with student program) Includes AI feature to help rank screening. Predict screening time with time averages.
  • SyRF Screening tool for in-vivo or preclinical studies from CAMARADES for systematic reviews of animal data from experimental studies
  • revtools revtools is an R package to support researchers working on evidence synthesis projects.

Screening References using EndNote (requires a subscription)

Data Extraction

  • DistillerSR (free with student program) Create customizable templates for data abstraction or choose from a template. Gives you full control of your data.
  • Robot Reviewer It automatically extracts and synthesises data from Randomized Controlled Trials by dragging and dropping PDFs or by uploading the files.
  • Plot Digitizer A java program that can extract data from graphs and is available as a free download.
  • Grade Pro Helps create the SoF Summary of Findings Table and incorporating the GRADE Approach to help make recommendations of the level of evidence.

Oops, if you find any broken links, please contact me!