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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Knowledge syntheses: Systematic & Scoping Reviews, and other review types

Tools for Knowledge Syntheses

*Our librarians do not provide consultations or training on any of the tools below, however we're happy to provide you with the information and resources below.

There are a variety of online tools that assist with processes involved in the creation of knowledge syntheses. It is important to remember that these tools do not negate the training or knowledge that is required before starting a knowledge synthesis. 

Tool

Features

CADIMA 
  • Free web tool that aids in the project management of systematic reviews, maps, and other literature reviews. An unlimited amount of team members are able to use this tool.
Journal Author/Name Estimator (JANE)
  • This tool can help you find the most appropriate journal you should submit your paper to, useful articles for your research, and can even help you find reviewers to review your paper.

STARR Decision Tool: SelecTing Approaches for Rapid Reviews 

  • Decision tool for selecting the right methods for a rapid review.

Systematic Review Accelerator 

Systematic Review Toolbox 

  • Crowd-sourced online catalogue that provides resources and tools for major tasks involved in the systematic review and evidence synthesis process including software tools, quality assessment/critical appraisal checklists, reporting standards, and guidelines.

 Good Reports

  • Checklists will help you report your research clearly and fully.

  • For most study types there are specific checklists that medical journals will expect you to upload alongside your manuscript.  Using a checklist can help you get published faster and maximise the impact of your work.

    This tool was made by the EQUATOR Network in collaboration with Penelope.ai.

Tools for Screening and Data Abstraction

*Our librarians do not provide consultations or training on these tools, however we're happy to provide you with the information and resources below.

Tool

Access

Features

Limitations

Covidence Free trial. Unlimited reviews for U of T users
  • Study Selection
  • Quality Assessment
  • Data Extraction
  • Collaboration
  • Document Management
 
DistillerSR

Paid 

  • Customizable forms for inclusion/exclusion criteria
  • Import search results and track included and excluded references
  • Customizable forms to extract study data
  • Export extracted data to other programs for analysis
  • Supports double blind screening
  • Supports pilot testing
Most expensive option (~$125USD/month)

Abstrackr

Free
  • Ability to screen both abstract and full text
  • Has various modes for screening, including single and double-blind screening
  • Has a pilot round feature where everyone reviews the same abstracts to ensure they are on the same page before continuing to main review
  • Allows multiple reviewers to work at once
  • Computer assisted screening is available 
  • Prone to bugs and downtime
  • Only supports records in very specific formats
  • Operated by a small volunteer team so responses to issues can be slow

 Colandr

Free
  • Ability to screen both abstract and full text
  • Ability to import inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Supports double-blind screening
  • Allows multiple reviewers to work at onc
  • Computer assisted screening is available
  • Operated by a small volunteer team so responses to issues can be slow

 Rayyan

Free
  • Ability to import inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Supports double blind screening
  • Allows multiple reviewers to work at once
  • Screens records for duplicates (although it must be done one at a time)
  • Prone to more bugs and downtime
  • Challenges with full text screening

 EPPI Reviewer

Free trial. Paid subcription 
  • Import search results and track included and excluded references
  • Template for tables of study characteristics
  • Customizable forms to extract study data
  • Tool to synthesize data
  • Export extracted data to other programs for analysis
  • Not compatible with Internet Explorer/Safari (Google Chrome/Firefox preferred)  
JBI-SUMARI Paid
  • Protocol Development
  • Study Selection
  • Quality Assessment
  • Data Extraction
  • Automated Analysis
  • Meta Analysis
  • Report Write Up
  • Document Management
  • All project contributors must have a subscription