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Study Selection/ Screening

Screening results for a literature review

What is Study Selection or Screening?

Once you have completed your literature search and compiled all possible studies on the topic, it is time to screen the results for relevancy. The purpose of study selection or screening is to exclude or eliminate studies which do not satisfy the inclusion criteria. It is highly recommended that two independent reviewers screen all studies and a third reviewer, , who can be a subject specialist, be used to resolve conflicts. The number of reviewers included in this stage varies based on the project size and team size.

For MN students, the reviewers may include yourself and your supervisor.

The screening stage primarily involves two steps:

  1. Title/ Abstract Screening
  2. Full Text screening

Prior to these stage, you should have clearly written inclusion and exclusion criteria of your research.

Various tools are available for evidence synthesis or study selection. Some of the recommended tools are:

    • The University of Calgary subscribed tool
  2. Rayyan
    • Open Access tool from Qatar Research and Computing Institute
  3. PICO Portal
    • A free platform that leverages artificial intelligence techniques to accelerate research
  4. RevMan
    • Review Manager (RevMan) is Cochrane's software for preparing and maintaining both Cochrane and non-Cochrane systematic reviews