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Systematic Reviews

This guide introduces the process of conducting a systematic review of the literature.

Cochrane Handbook


RevMan is the software used for preparing and maintaining Cochrane Reviews. RevMan facilitates preparation of protocols and full reviews, including text, characteristics of studies, comparison tables, and study data. It can perform meta-analysis of the data entered, and present the results graphically. RevMan is available for desktop and web.


JBI SUMARI is the System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (SUMARI) from the Joanna Briggs Institute. It is designed to assist researchers and practitioners in fields such as health, social sciences and humanities to conduct systematic reviews.

SUMARI supports 10 review types, including: reviews of effectiveness, qualitative research, economic evaluations, prevalence/incidence, aetiology/risk, mixed methods, umbrella/overviews, text/opinion, diagnostic test accuracy and scoping reviews.

It facilitates the entire review process, from protocol development, team management, study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction, data synthesis and writing your systematic review report. Essentially, it is a word processor, reference management program, statistical and qualitative data analysis program all in one easy to use web application.




The EndNote software will help you create and format bibliographies and references.

  • EndNote is available on all university computers, as well as via myDesktop
  • The program is available for student/staff download (RMIT Google doc) to personal devices
  • There is online help available, or access the Library's EndNote guide

Use EndNote's Groups to help manage your references.

You might have groups for themes, databases, chapters, manuscripts, etc.


NVivo is software that supports qualitative and mixed methods research. It’s designed to help you organize, analyze and find insights in unstructured, or qualitative data like: interviews, open-ended survey responses, articles, social media and web content. 


SPSS Statistics is a computer application that supports statistical analysis of data. It allows for comprehensive data access and preparation. The software has extensive capabilities in analytical reporting, graphics and statistical modelling.

Systematic Review Toolbox