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Systematic Reviews

Article Screening

Article Screening Background

Article screening helps remove studies that are not related to your topic. The first step is to use your inclusion/exclusion criteria to first screen the title and abstracts of the articles and determine whether they are relevant to your research question. After the initial step, the full text articles that have made the first step should be screened to make sure that those studies fit the eligibility criteria of your systematic review. It is recommended to have two independent reviewers screen all studies, resolving disagreement by unison or by a third party who is an expert in the field. Below is a list of tools that can be used for article screening.

Article Screening Tools


Rayyan is a free online tool that that allows for independent screening and coding of studies in a systematic review. Rayyan will pre-populate inclusion and exclusion criteria, but you can customize these criteria. It uses tagging and filtering to code and organize references. You can create multiple screening projects, title and abstract can be done in one project and full text screening in the second project.

Exporting results to Rayyan: It is recommended to export all the results into a citation management software first to de-duplicate your results and then export from the citation manager in RIS format to Rayyan.


Covidence is an online systematic review tool that allows for independent screening of abstracts, full text screening, populating risk of bias tables, data extraction. James C. Kirkpatrick Library does not currently subscribe to Covidence however, their pricing page includes various options for subscription.

Exporting results to Covidence: It is recommended to export all the results into a citation management software first to de-duplicate your results. It is best to export from the citation management software in RIS format when importing to Covidence. Note: Covidence only accepts RIS and Endnote or PubMed XML format.


Excel is an option for article screening. References can be exported from citation management software into Excel format for screening.