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Systematic Review: Save and manage search results

Copy of published guide 'systematic review' (Paula Todd version) for Editing taken in July 2021

Save search results

It is important to keep good records of your final searches in each database so that your search process is transparent and reproducible. Published SRs generally report the number of papers retrieved from each database and register searched, before and after screening, in a PRISMA flow diagram, so you need to ensure that you save the necessary information (as you progress through your review) to fulfill the PRISMA requirements.

One method is to save copies of your search histories within each database. To do this you generally need to set up a free personal account in each relevant database - look for a link at the top of the main search page. Alternatively, you may choose to create a spreadsheet or search diary to record the details of your searches.

Managing search results

At Monash, we have a comprehensive EndNote guide that covers: downloading the reference management tool (free for students and staff), the basics, training, and help, including the bulk export of records for systematic reviews. We offer Q&A sessions for EndNote that you can register to attend or ask quick questions at our drop-ins.

You may choose to use alternative reference management tools like Zotero or Mendeley, but we don't offer extensive support for these tools. You may be more comfortable with Excel. Managing your citations and databases is key in the SR process.