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Knowledge Syntheses: A How-To Guide

Overview of systematic review steps and resources to assist researchers conducting reviews
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Dalhousie Libraries is excited to offer an unlimited institutional license to Covidence for members affiliated with Dalhousie University.

What is Covidence?

Covidence is a web-based software platform that streamlines the production of systematic reviews.  It supports citation screening, full text review, risk of bias assessment, extraction of study characteristics and outcomes, and the export of data and references. 

Using the Dalhousie University Libraries Covidence subscription

How do Dalhousie people sign up for Covidence?


Dalhousie affiliated users can request an invite to the institutional subscription by following this link and signing up or logging in with a Dalhousie email (


How do I set up a new review with the Dalhousie unlimited account?

Once you are associated with the Dalhousie account, you will see the option to use the organizational access to create a new review. There are step-by-step instructions on creating new reviews and using the Covidence through Dalhousie's institutional subscription on the Dalhousie page in the Covidence Knowledge Base.

What if someone already has a review going on using Covidence?

Reviews linked to existing Dalhousie members (who have Covidence accounts using their email) will be automatically migrated to the institutional full access in the near future. There will be no loss of data or access. In fact, users with trial accounts will gain access to the functions of the full version, including ability to invite unlimited reviewers and bulk import of PDFs. This migration hasn't been started yet, but will be done on the back end by the folks at Covidence in early April 2018 after consultation with existing Dalhousie account owners

What if a Dalhousie person used a different email (gmail, etc.) to sign up with Covidence prior to Feb 2018? Can these reviews still use the institutional license?

Yes, all Dalhousie affiliated individuals are covered with this license. If you have a review that is linked to a email, get in touch with Robin Parker. She can send an invite to the institutional access. All new accounts with Covidence should be set up using your email.

I am starting a review with colleagues from other institutions. Can we use the Dalhousie institutional account for this inter-organizational review?

Yes, any Dalhousie person connected to the Dalhousie institutional account may create new reviews and invite unlimited reviewers from anywhere in the world. However, due to copyright laws and licensing restrictions, there are restrictions on sharing full text of articles  with individuals who are not affiliated with Dalhousie University. Be sure to check if you have any questions - see below.

Who do I ask or direct people to for more information about Covidence or the new institutional account?

Email inquiries can be directed or forwarded to or sent to Robin Parker (robin.parker at Or you can connect with reference support at the Kellogg Library via Microsoft Teams chat and/or video at: (Monday to Friday:9am to 5 pm). Or email

You can also check out the Covidence Knowledge Base which has video and text support materials for many aspects of the functions available through Covidence including FAQs.

Full Text and Covidence

Note that Dalhousie reviewers are cautioned to NOT upload the full text of articles obtained through Dalhousie Libraries' subscriptions or document delivery to Covidence due to licensing and copyright restrictions. Full text of publicly available articles may be uploaded.

Please contact the Copyright Office ( with any questions regarding sharing licensed intellectual property.

Importing Files to Covidence

Follow the guide below and learn how to use RIS files to import large sums of files into your Covidence reviews quickly and easily.

Review Management Software

Review management software tools are specifically tailored to the needs of knowledge synthesis teams. In addition to reference management, some of these tools can also help with data extraction, perform meta-analysis, track team progress, and facilitate communication between members. As indicated below, some of these tools are fee-based. You should also bear in mind that not every tool is appropriate for every kind of synthesis or review - be sure to choose the right fit for your project.