Table 1

Comparison between different systematic review software

SyRFEPPI-Reviewer 4SWIFT-Active ScreenerDistiller SRAbstrackrRayyanCovidenceColandr
Original scientific purpose*Primarily designed for preclinical reviewsPrimarily designed for health-related reviewsPrimarily designed for environmental health reviewsPrimarily designed for clinical reviewsPrimarily designed for clinical reviewsPrimarily designed for clinical reviewsPrimarily designed for clinical reviewsPrimarily designed for conservation research reviews
Phases SupportedSearch/upload studiesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
DeduplicateYes, external†YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Pdf retrieval/uploadYesYesNoYesNoYesYesYes
ScreeningYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
AnnotationYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Outcome data extractionYesYesNoYesNoNoYesNo
AnalysisYes, external‡YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Visualisation of analysesYes, external‡YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
FeaturesFree to useYesNoNoNoYesYesFree trial availableYes
Technical user supportYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Methodological user supportYes, online resources and dedicated helpdeskNoNoYes, user community, team to help with training and adoption of best practices and online resourcesNoNoYesNo
Multiple user supportYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Reference importingYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Reference allocationRandom by default, but can be user adjustedUser defined sorting or machine learning prioritised orderOrder reprioritised by likelihood of inclusion based on previous decisionsOrder random or possible to reprioritise by likelihood of inclusion based on previous decisions, or user definedRandom or option to reorder by likelihood of inclusion based on previous decisionsUser defined order through selection from a listCan filter with screening or sort using Author, Title, Recency or RelevanceOrder reprioritised by likelihood of inclusion based on previous decisions
Citation screeningYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Storage and attachment of PDF filesYes, batch upload possibleYes, but individual upload required to link to reference listYes, but individual upload required unless PDFs directly from EndNote libraryYes, batch upload possibleNoYes, but individual upload requiredYes, batch upload possibleYes, but individual upload required
Publication annotationYesYesYesYesBasic tagging and commenting onlyBasic tagging only. With suggestive labellingYesYes, with suggestive labelling
Risk of bias assessmentYesYesYesYesNoNoYesYes
Quantitative outcome data extractionYesYesNoYesNoNoYesNo
Annotation fields customisableYesYesYesYesNoNoYesYes
Discrepancy resolving of screening resultsYes, automated according to user needsYes, manualYes, manualYesYes, manualYes, manualYes, manualYes, manual
Discrepancy resolving of annotation resultsUnder active developmentYes, manualNoYes, manualNoNoYes, manualNo
Exporting resultsYes, Various data structures of download in .csvYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Multiple user rolesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Assign reviewers to study stagesUnder active developmentYesNoYesNoNoNoNo
Project management and auditing for administratorYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Project and reviewer progress tracking for all usersYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Flow diagram creationNoYesNoYesNoNoYesNo
Compatibility with and incorporation of machine learning/automation toolsYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Keyword highlightingNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes