Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Systematic Reviews

What is Article Screening?

The purpose of article screening to remove studies that are clearly not related to your topic. Use your inclusion/exclusion criteria to first screen the title and abstracts of your studies and determine whether they are relevant to your research question. Once titles and abstracts have been screened, the full text must be retrieved and screened to definitely decide whether the study fits the eligibility criteria of your synthesis.

It is highly recommended that two independent reviewers screen all studies, resolving areas of disagreement by consensus or by a third party who is an expert in the field.

Tools for Article Screening


Exporting Citations from Databases into Rayann

For evidence syntheses, it is recommended to export all of your results into a citation manager, de-duplicate your results, and then export from your citation manager in RIS format.

  • RIS files from Ovid, EBSCO, or Scopus do not successfully import directly into Rayyan.

    • Export your results to a citation manager first and then export from your citation manager in RIS format.

  • Web of Science RIS files successfully import directly into Rayyan.

  • PubMed XML files successfully import Rayyan.



Excel is the most basic tool for the management of article screening. Lists of references can be exported from citation managers into Excel format for screening. A more advanced approach to using Excel for this purpose is the PIECES approach, designed by a librarian at Texas A&M. The PIECES workbook is downloadable.