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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Doing a Systematic Review

A concise guide to the steps involved in systematic, scopic and related reviews

Software to manage your results

Your search is likely to generate hundreds if not thousands of references. The only realistic way of managing these is to use a reference management package, such as EndNote. The Library can provide help and training via our Library HITS training sessions or your Subject Librarian.

We strongly recommend anyone undertaking a review use the full "Desktop" version of EndNote. Trinity College Dublin has a site licence for EndNote and current staff and students are permitted to install a copy of the software on both their personal and College-owned machines, with the proviso that copies must be removed when the user leaves College.

Other reference apps such as Zotero and Mendeley can be used if you prefer, but we cannot help with support of these apps. You should never have more than one of these apps installed, as they conflict with each other and will cause problems.

Suggested workflow using EndNote

  1. Create a folder on your computer to keep a number of EndNote Libraries all together.
  2. Create a new Library called the same as the first database you want to search, saved in that new folder. With only that Library open, send the results into it from the database.
  3. Close that Library. Create a new Library for your second database, and import the results from that into it.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you have created and populated EndNote Libraries for each database.

The advantage of this is that you now have a snapshot of all your searches saved; if anything goes wrong with the study in the future, you can go back to this point and start again.