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Systematic Reviews: Software Tools to Manage Your Review

Cincinnati Children's EndNote License - Installation Instructions

EndNote is a bibliographic management software tool that ...

  • connects to online databases to search for citations
  • organizes references to many types of literature as well as charts, graphs, and other graphics
  • creates reference lists for manuscripts in many different styles

EndNote is an especially valuable tool for systematic reviews when you need to manage large numbers of citations.

Learn more about Endnote using our Endnote LibGuideInstructions on how to download EndNote onto any CCHMC computer are available here:


DistillerSR Review - From Pratt Library Blog

Originally published May 18, 2016 on the Pratt Library Blog.

If you and your team are thinking about writing a systematic review, there are a variety of tools available that can help you manage the process. 

The resources that will best suit your systematic review process may depend on the experience of your team members, what resources you have available, and the requirements for your target publication.  In addition to protocols such as PRISMA and the IOM Standards for Systematic Reviews to help guide you through the steps, there are software programs that you can use to help manage your citations and organize your article appraisal process.

DistillerSR from Evidence Partners is one software option available to help you organize your work evaluating articles for a systematic review and is one of the most commonly used programs by reviews.  DistillerSR allows you to import your article citations from PubMed or an EndNote Library (RIS format files) and attach full-text articles to the citations.  Once your articles have been entered you can develop a series of forms that walk you through the appraisal process.  You can put the forms in sequence, and adjust the visible questions based on the responses provided. So for example you could start with a title/abstract review form to determine if articles meet your inclusion criteria, and then move to a form that walks you through the quality appraisal piece.  There are report options to help you create tables needed for your article based on the data you entered

The program provides user permission settings to allow each individual to access only the parts of the project they need for their level of participation. So you could direct one team member with less experience to work on only the piece of the process they are qualified for, while another person could do more detailed evaluation work.  You can also view each team member's progress through their delegated part of the project and easily see the project's current status.

DistillerSR is a subscription product, the price varies depending on the number of projects you are working on and the number of users in your team. Learn more about whether this tool is right for you by checking out their website and the videos on their YouTube Channel.

DistillerSR is one of many programs systematic review teams utilize to improve their review process.  To see some other possible programs you could use, check out the following lists of resources.  These resources include options that are free, subscription-based, or available for one-time purchase. 


Software for Systematic Reviews

Software to Manage the Systematic Review Process

Systematic Review Toolbox Twitter

The Systematic Review Toolbox is a searchable collection of tools you could potentially use to develop your systematic review.  

Check out the latest tweets from the Systematic Review Toolbox Twitter Feed:

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