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Michigan State University


An Introduction to Covidence at MSU

Importing References

If you have questions about Importing or Screening References, we encourage to search Covidence's Knowledge Base, specifically the Importing References section, and the Screening Studies section.

Importing References

We highly recommend working with a librarian to consult on a search strategy for database searching. Once you're ready to run your search and export database results, you'll click on the blue "Import" button on the top box. You'll then select the stage you're importing into (likely Screening if this is your first import). You can also indicate what database you're importing from.

Covidence can only accept imports in one of three formats:

  • EndNote XML
  • RIS text format
  • PubMed text format (Importing from PubMed)
    • From PubMed, click Save, then select "PubMed" under Format. The resulting RIS txt file can be imported to Covidence.

You'll need to make sure that when you export from a database, your file is in one of these three formats. If you have questions on exporting from EndNote or another citation manager, please see the help here. Covidence will automatically identify duplicate citations, which you can access at any point during your project.

Screening References

Once you've imported your references, you'll then be prompted to start title and abstract screening. Click on "Continue" to begin the screening process.


You'll select Yes, No, or Maybe for each reference, determining whether or it meets your inclusion criteria. If there are two reviewers and you both select Yes, it will be moved to full text review. If you both select No, it will not be moved to full text review. If one reviewer selects Yes or Maybe and another selects No, it will require that you discuss and decide, or assign a third reviewer to decide. If both reviewers select Maybe, it is moved to full text review. More information about voting can be found here.