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_PSYC5131: Meta Analysis: Theory and Practice — Screening Citations with Rayyan

Library research guide for students in PSYC 5131.

What is Rayyan?

Rayyan is a user-friendly tool which enables a single person or a team to perform masked screening of references for evidence synthesis projects.  It has some excellent features, especially if you're working with a large set of results. Rayyan is designed for screening, not for citation management or citing while writing! This is an optional tool which may speed up your screening process, and you would use it in conjunction with RefWorks.

Rayyan allows you to:

  • Quickly label references with custom reasons for inclusion or exclusion
  • Highlight keywords to help you quickly identify important information in citations
  • Use machine learning and your existing screening decisions to sort unscreened items based on likely relevance

To create your account, choose the Sign-Up link at the top of the page.

To create your account, choose the Sign up Link at the top of the page.

Select the Free account option. (They now offer subscriptions, but a free account is sufficient many people's needs.)

Select the free account option.

Fill out the account creation form. You'll get an email to confirm your account, and you'll be asked to set your password at that time.

Recommended Workflow When Using Rayyan for Evidence Synthesis

A recommended workflow for using Rayyan for your screening process is as follows:

In your preferred citation management tool (such as RefWorks or Zotero):

  1. Collect all references.
  2. Record necessary numbers for your PRISMA diagram.
  3. Perform deduplication of references. 
  4. Record number of references in deduplicated set.
  5. Import the deduplicated set into a new Rayyan project.

In Rayyan:

  1. Complete all title/abstract screening.
  2. Record number of references in included set (if you found additional duplicates during title/abstract screening, be sure your numbers reflect this).
  3. Export included items to a new Rayyan project.
  4. Obtain full text of references and make available to screeners (a shared cloud storage folder outside of Rayyan is a good place to store full text for the team).
  5. Complete full text screening.
  6. Record final number of references included.
  7. Export included records into your preferred citation manager as a separate project library (RefWorks) or a Group Library (Zotero) to ensure they remain walled off from your original set of references and any other projects you're working on.

Screening Citations with Rayyan

This video shows you how to create a new Rayyan project, import citations from RefWorks, use Rayyan to screen those citations, and finally export them back into RefWorks. There's an RIS file in this box, below the video, that you can use to test drive Rayyan.

Exporting from Rayyan to Citation Managers

When you are ready to export your final set of included references, you can do so from within Rayyan, and your reason for inclusion Labels will be exported as well. The Labels appear in the Notes field in your citation manager.

This screenshot shows what options are available when you export from Rayyan:

Export pop-up window showing options for which records to export, what information to include, and what format to export into

This is how the inclusion decisions and Labels appear in the three citation managers supported by UConn Library:

In RefWorks:

RefWorks notes field

In Legacy RefWorks:

Legacy RefWorks notes field

In Zotero:

Zotero notes field

Help with Rayyan

Have questions about using Rayyan? Check out their help documentation! If you like to reduce your reliance on your mouse, and speed up some processes, check out the list of keyboard shortcuts, too.