Skip to Main Content
Go to Penn Libraries homepage   Go to Guides homepage

Systematic Reviews: Tools for Data

This guide is intended to provide related information for the users who prepare to write systematic reviews.

Tools for Critical appraisal

Tools for Managing Data

Covidence -Penn Licensed

Covidence is "the primary screening and data extraction tool for Cochrane authors. Its support of key steps in the Cochrane Review process, sush as citation screening and Risk of bias assessment, and improved links with RevMan make the review writing process more efficient."

RevMan Web -Penn Licensed

RevMan Web is the software used for preparing and maintaining both Cochrane and Non-Cochrane Reviews. RevMan Web facilitates the preparation of protocols and full reviews, including text, characteristics of studies, comparison tables, and study data. It also simplifies creating meta-analyses and presenting the results in forest plots. 


  • Fee-based
  • DistillerSR is an online application designed specifically for the screening and data extraction phases of a systematic review.
  • The system automatically handles promotion and exclusion based on your form design
  • Export data to any spreadsheet or database software
  • Easy protocol changes, the system can re-evaluate all user responses in seconds


A free web application that assists systematic review authors in performing literature screening. 


Software for semi-automatic citation screening. The web-based annotation tool, currently in beta version, allows project leads to import the citations that are to be screened for a review from either RefMan or Pubmed. 

Export references from EndNote to Abstrackr

Systematic Review Toolbox

A resource to identify software tools for various steps in the systematic review process. It is a community-driven, searchable, web-based catalogue of tools that support the systematic review process across multiple domains. 


This tool "facilitates the entire review process, from protocol development, team management, study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction, data synthesis and writing systematic review report". It support a number of review types. 

UPenn faculty, staff, and students can access freely this tool via Ovid platform, e.g., Ovid Medline, Ovid JBI.

Systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR)

From AHRQ, the Systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR) is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for the extraction and management of data for systematic review or meta-analysis. It is also an open and searchable archive of systematic reviews and their data.


This is completely open-source, cross-platform software for advanced meta-analysis.


The tool is designed to help those conducting systematic reviews to identify, extract and code information about a particular research study that is to be included in a systematic review. Other tools related are also available. Main tools include

  • Guidelines tools i) the REPOSE Guidelines for the reporting of education research; and ii) detailed sets of questions for coding at the Keywording and Data-extraction stage
  • Data management tools - structures and tools for downloading, storing and managing information on studies used in the reviews
  • EPPI-Reviewer - the EPPI-Centre's online tool for research synthesis
  • MetaLight - which supports the teaching and learning of meta-analysis
  • CCEMG - EPPI-Centre Cost Converter - a tool for assisting with currency conversion.

Data analysis tools for meta analysis


Xmeta is an R package and also an online platform to facilitate comprehensive meta-analysis for users with or without programming skills. It features two analytic paths: 1) for R users, you can install the “xmeta” package and directly call the main functions; and 2) for people who do not use R, you can use the web-based secure meta-analysis pipeline to personalize your own analysis. It includes a wide variety of analyses for univariate, multivariate and network meta-analysis, for continuous, binary and time to event outcomes. In addition, it also includes a rich set of model diagnosis tools and data visualizations for different types of analyses.

Penn Libraries Home Franklin Home
(215) 898-7555