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Systematic Review

This guide aims to provide tools and resources that can be used for conducting a systematic review in medical and health sciences.

Extracting Data

The next step of the SR process is to read the full text of each included study and extract the pertinent data using a standardized data extraction/coding form. You should undergo this step whether you plan to perform a meta-analysis or not.  According to MECIR Box 5.4.a , data collection for systematic reviews should be performed using structured data collection forms.

What items to collect in data collection or data extraction?

The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions outlines the types of data to consider for extraction/collection from included studies. Refer to Table 5.3.a Checklist of items to consider in data collection for more information.

Data Extraction Tools

  • AHRQ's SRDR+ (Systematic Review Data Repository Plus) (free tool) - a tool for data extraction, management, and archival during systematic reviews. It is also a public repository of previously extracted study data.
  • Cochrane Data Extract Forms for RCTs and non-RCTS (.doc)
  • Covidence (fee based, CUHK library subscribed) - is a web-based software platform that streamlines the production of systematic reviews and other research reviews. With the tool, you can create and publish a data extraction template, extract data, and complete the risk of bias tables.
  • DistillerSR (fee based) -  is a systematic review management software similar to Covidence. It allows you to create project-specific forms or choose from a template, extracting, and analyzing data.
  • JBI SUMARI (Joanna Briggs Institute System for the Unified Management of the Assessment and Review of Information) (fee based) - is designed to assist in the conduct of JBI systematic reviews for researchers and practitioners in fields such as health, social sciences and humanities to conduct 10 different types of reviews including reviews of effectiveness, qualitative research, economic evaluations, prevalence/incidence, etiology/risk, mixed methods, umbrella/overviews, text/opinion, diagnostic test accuracy and scoping reviews. Among the other steps of a review project, it facilitates data extraction and data synthesis.
  • Robot Reviewer (free tool) - automates the data extraction and synthesis of data from clinical trials by uploading the full text of the clinical trial report (uploading PDFs or the files).
  • Systematic Review Toolbox (free tool) - for a more complete list of resources that support the systematic review process. Use the advanced search option to restrict to tools specific to data extraction.