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Systematic and Complex Reviews

Managing your search results

Systematic reviews require some kind of  analysis or summation of all the information resources located during searching. Reference management software can make the organization of information resources for this task and later for citation more effective and efficient. EndNote is a reference management software available to all Western Sydney staff and postgraduate students. Use EndNote to maintain a searchable database of references related to the systematic review. EndNote information is available in the Western Sydney University Library EndNote Subject Guide.

Managing search results using EndNote

Exporting citations from databases
The Ebscohost database can export up to 25,000 records to EndNote at one time.

The Ovid database can export up to 2000 records at one time. Smaller numbers of records can also be exported.

Documenting the search
Documenting the date of your search and the source database of your results is essential in Systematic Reviews. EndNote has a field: Added to library which will record the date the records were imported. You can make this field visible by changing your Preferences/Display fields. if you are unsure of how to do this contact the
Online Librarian, your Academic Services Librarian or your School Librarian.

Creating group sets and group
Group sets and groups help you to organise your library into more manageable subsets.

Removing duplicates is an integral part of th
e PRISMA 2009 Flow Diagram. Use EndNote to remove duplicates from your records. 

Sharing a library

Sharing an EndNote Library with a colleague or Supervisor is easy.

Training in EndNote is available on a regular basis. See the Library EndNote Training Calendar webpage for upcoming training opportunities.

For technical enquiries, please contact EndNote Support Clarivate Analytics.

Documenting your work and systematic search

The quality of the literature search is fundamental to the outcome of a systematic review and other related review types. A principle of a systematic review is that the review should be transparent and reproducible. However often the reporting of a systematic review search process does not provide enough detail to make this possible. Authors should document search strategies with enough detail to be reproducible.

  • lists of databases searched and vendor
  • number of references retrieved
  • exact search strategies
  • grey literature sources searched
  • other search techniques – hand searching, scanning bibliographies of pertinent authors, contacting experts
These templates can assist you to record these details for yourself and following authors:

Publishers may request a copy of your systematic search strategy with publication. In this case whenever possible it is best to capture the search strategy directly from the selected database. Most databases will provide and option to print to pdf.

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Library guide created by Western Sydney University Library staff is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY)