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Title/Abstract Screening

Title and abstract screening screenAfter importing all your references, you are ready for title/abstract screening. Revisit the "Preliminary Settings" section of this guide if you have not already invited screeners or settled on criteria/exclusion settings. 

Clicking the "Title and Abstract Screening" box on the "Review Summary" screen will display the number of articles available to screen.  Start screening by clicking the "Screen" or "Continue" button.

Title/Abstract Screening Display

  • 25 citations appear on the screen.  Increase the number up to 100 using the Display pull-down option.
  • Citations may be sorted by Author, Title, Most Recent, & Relevancy (default).
  • Abstracts & Highlighting can be turned on/off using the appropriate buttons.

Screening Citations

Screeners have the option of selecting Yes | No | Maybe, for each citation.  If two reviewers are required, citations move through the process depending on the vote combination.

  • Both reviewers vote NO -> citation moves to "Irrelevant Reference"
  • Both reviewers vote YES, or a combination Yes | Maybe vote -> citation moves on to "Full Text review".
  • A combination Yes or Maybe, plus a No vote -> citation moves to "Resolve conflicts" 

Voting is blinded until both reviewers have cast their vote.

Resolving Conflicts

If there is a conflict, votes remain blinded. You can see who cast a vote (to allow for discussion) but not how they voted.  A third, adjudicating vote is required. The individual(s) who can resolve conflicts can be designated by accessing Settings -> Team settings -> Rules -> Manage Rules.

More Help Available

Sorting References While Title/Abstract Screening

Sort OptionsDuring the Screening process you can change the sort order of your references.  Your options are:

Most relevant (default)

Using machine learning, Covidence can attempt to predict what references you will include in your review.  It identifies trends in your team's past screening behavior to display those references you will likely want to select, at the top of the list.  The more you screen, the better the system can predict your preferences.  Your team must screen a number of references before the system can use the predicted relevancy scores to sort your references. More Covidence sorting information available.


References will displayed in alpha order by author


References will display in alpha order by title.  This can be helpful to find duplicates that were not originally caught by Covidence.

Most Recent

References display based on how recently they were imported or screened.  If references haven't yet been screened, the most recently imported references should appear at the top.  If screening has started, any reference recently voted on will appear at the top of the list.



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