Systematic Reviews & Meta-analyses: SR Software
& Tools

Guidance on conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Project Management, Screening, Data Extraction, Analysis

Below are selected tools to consider using.

Visit the Systematic Review Toolbox for even more.


Covidence is now available via VT Libraries

Visit the Covidence page on this guide for more information

Free (some direct support available)

Abstrakr: Title / Abstract Screening Tool. "An open-source, web-based software for (semi-automated?!) abstract-screening." Find out more about Abstrakr. Use the Abstrakr tool.

SDSR - Full review process and archiving tool. "In an effort to reduce the burden of conducting systematic reviews, researchers and developers at the Brown University Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) (previously at Tufts Medical Center), with support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), have developed a collaborative, Web-based repository of systematic review data. This resource serves as both an archive and data extraction tool and is shared among organizations and individuals producing systematic reviews worldwide, enabling the creation of a central database of systematic review data which may be critiqued, updated, and augmented on an ongoing basis. This database is freely accessible to facilitate evidence reviews and thus improve and speed up policy-making with regards to healthcare."

Free (no support unless conducting a Cochrane review)

RevMan - "Review Manager (RevMan) is the software used for preparing and maintaining Cochrane Reviews. You can use RevMan for protocols and full reviews. It is most useful when you have formulated the question for the review, and allows you to prepare the text, build the tables showing the characteristics of studies and the comparisons in the review, and add study data. It can perform meta-analyses and present the results graphically."

Fee-Based (with trials available)

Covidence - (Free for VT affiliates! And for Cochrane reviewers) From the Cochrane website, "Covidence is one of Cochrane’s recommended tools to support you in some of the most labour-intensive stages of your systematic review. Covidence allows your team to upload search results, screen abstracts and full text, complete data collection, conduct risk of bias assessment, resolve disagreements and export data into RevMan or Excel."

DistillerSR - Commonly used product for systematic review managment.

SUMARI - Commonly used product for systematic review managment.

Meta-Analysis and other Statistical Analysis-focused software

Fee-Based (with trials available)

Comprehensive Meta-Analysis - "Perform your meta-analysis quickly and accurately."

MedCalc - "MedCalc is a complete statistical program for Windows designed to closely match the requirements of biomedical researchers. It is fast, very user-friendly and reliable."

Forest Plot Generator - DistillerSR Forest Plot Generator from Evidence Partners - creators of DistillerSR software

Citation Managers

A Citation Manager is a Key Tool for Systematic Review Studies

The VT Libraries Citation Manager library guide provides an introduction to and links to video tutorials for major Citation Manager tools, such as Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote


Request a consultation:

  • Email:
  • In your email, let us know your current project research focus, planning stage, timeline, and goals. 

Cozette Comer, Evidence Synthesis Librarian, Liaison Librarian: Statistics and Computational Modeling & Data Analytics,

Kiri DeBose, Head, Veterinary Medicine Library & Liaison to Animal Sciences,

Ginny Pannabecker, Liaison Librarian: Biochemistry, Biocomplexity Institute, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Neuroscience, and Systems Biology; Director, RCE,