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Systematic reviews: Covidence

Covidence at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

Covidence is web based software that simplifies the process of screening references and extracting data for systematic reviews.

St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne has an institutional licence for staff. Please contact us to request access.You will then be able to set up reviews and invite co-reviewers, including those from other organisations.

Covidence is very user friendly, and you will be able to get up and running quickly. The Covidence Knowledge Base provides clear instructions. Contact us to learn more.

Updated 28 Feb 2024

What is Covidence?

Covidence quick start

Review teams have at least two, and usually more reviewers. If you are working alone then you are not doing a systematic review and you don't need Covidence.

Library staff can teach you literature searching skills, and how to manage citations with Endnote. We have a limited capacity to co-author systematic reviews where we take responsibility for the search process and writing up the methodology.

Getting references involves a thorough search of multiple databases such as Medline, Embase, Emcare, CINAHL, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Library. Designing a good search strategy is key to this process, and forms the basis of a systematic review.

Set up your Covidence Project

Setting up a new account and reviews in Covidence is a simple process. If you have requested access through the library you will receive an email invitation to sign up.

Contact us to set up an account (SVHM staff only)
Covidence website
Getting started with Covidence 

Importing results to screen on title and abstract in Covidence

Export search results to Endnote before uploading them to Covidence. Staff of St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne can access Endnote onsite and library staff can provide installation software for offsite use. Individual and group tutorials on using Endnote are available on request. Please contact us for more information.

Remove duplicates in Endnote before uploading to Covidence, especially if you have a lot of records. Covidence will attempt to remove duplicates on import, but these still need to be checked, and that can be cumbersome if there are too many.

Export results from Endnote to Covidence as an xml file. This is a quick process, and Covidence will check for any duplicates you have missed while importing. Make sure you check the duplicates are correct.

How to import records to Covidence


Screening on title and abstract in Covidence is quick and easy. Two (or more) reviewers can simply vote yes, no or maybe to include for full text review. Conflicts can be resolved by a third person or agreement between the original reviewers.

How to screen records in Covidence

Screen on full text

Full text PDFs can be uploaded in bulk to Covidence, or added individually to records. 

How to use EndNote to import full text PDF into Covidence in bulk

Screening on full text will involve two or more reviewers voting independently to include or exclude, based on criteria that you have agreed. It is common to invite a third reviewer to resolve conflicts, or to make a joint decision.

How to screen records in Covidence

Quality assessment and data extraction

Extraction 2.0 is a new process introduced to Covidence in 2020. This is more flexible than the previous system which focused on Cochrane methodology.

Data export from Covidence

It is simple to export records from Covidence to Endnote, Excel and other software. Covidence also records the process in a PRISMA flow chart.

How to export data from Covidence

Guide Author

Helen Wilding, Senior Research Librarian

Carl de Gruchy Library, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

Literature Searching, Systematic Reviews, Mental Health liaison 
Thursdays, Fridays & alternate Wednesdays
Helen's profile | Researchgate | Orcid