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Library Subject Guides

Systematic Reviews: Screening and filtering


PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis. It consists of a 27-item checklist and flow diagram for transparent reporting of a systematic review.

Use the PRISMA process to record and report on the number of articles found and the process used to make decisions at each stage of the systematic review.  It is important to document decisions for excluding and including records throughout the process.

PRISMA Flow Diagram generator a free tool for creating flow diagrams

Liberati, A., Altman, D. G., Tetzlaff, J., Mulrow, C., Gøtzsche, P. C., Ioannidis, J. P., ... & Moher, D. (2009). The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 62(10), e1-e34.

Additional tools

Forest Plot Generator a free tool for creating forest plots

SR Toolbox database of tools to assist with the various stages of writing a systematic review

Systematic Review Screening Tools

A number of tools are available to assist with the process of screening search results, assessing the risk of bias and extracting study characteristics and outcomes.


Rayyan a free tool to help with the process of screening and selecting studies for systematic reviews

DistillerSR tool for screening studies and extracting data


OpenMeta[Analyst] free software for meta analysis

SR-Accelerator free software for writing systematic reviews

JBI SUMARI subscription service from the Joanna Briggs Institute

EPPI Reviewer

EndNote can also be used. See, Peters, M. D. (2017). Managing and coding references for systematic reviews and scoping reviews in EndNote. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 36(1), 19–31.

Van der Mierden, S., Tsaioun, K., Bleich, A., & Leenaars, C. H. (2019). Software tools for literature screening in systematic reviews in biomedical research. Altex, 36(3), 508–517.

Kohl, C., McIntosh, E. J., Unger, S., Haddaway, N. R., Kecke, S., Schiemann, J., & Wilhelm, R. (2018). Online tools supporting the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews and systematic maps: A case study on cadima and review of existing tools. Environmental Evidence, 7, 8. s13750-018-0115-5

Page, M. J., McKenzie, J. E., & Higgins, J. P. T. (2018). Tools for assessing risk of reporting biases in studies and syntheses of studies: A systematic review. BMJ Open, 8(3), Article e019703.