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Occupational Therapy - Dallas

Occupational therapy research guide for TWU Dallas students, faculty and staff.


Rayyan is a free program designed to assist and speed up the process of conducting a systematic or scoping review. It allows multiple reviewers to vote upon uploaded articles for inclusion or exclusion in their study; the voting can also be blinded.

Articles can be uploaded to Rayyan easily; the reviews can also be downloaded so they are available offline. Rayyan is also available as a phone app to facilitate access to your review anywhere, anytime. Your librarian can also help to upload to Rayyan and manage the inclusion/exclusion process.

How Do I...?

Creating an Account

  1. Use the link above to go to the Rayyan website.
  2. Click on the "Get Started" button at the top of the page.
  3. Add your email address and country of origin, then click on "Create Account."
  4. Select whether you want to open a free account or a paid one. The free account is relatively substantial and allows you to have 3 active reviews at a time.
  5. Submit the information requested.

Creating a New Review

  1. Click on the link that says "Create new review" in the menu on the left.
  2. Complete the information requested about your systematic or scoping review.

Importing Records

Rayyan should be compatible with EndNote (.enw), .RIS, .csv, and PubMed XML files. While you can export directly from databases as .RIS files to be uploaded to Rayyan, you may want to upload your files into a citation manager like RefWorks or EndNote as well. Benefits of this extra step include:

  • A back-up copy of your files in a separate location.
  • Access to the citation manager's other useful tools, like building bibliographies and in-text citations.

To Upload Records from an RIS File

  1. Open the review you wish to add records to.
  2. Under "Data Summary", click on "Add References" and "From my device."
  3. Locate your RIS file(s) and click "Open" to upload.

  1. Click on "Continue."
  2. To add more files, repeat the same process.


To Import from RefWorks

In RefWorks
  1. Open the folder you wish to export.
  2. In the top menu, click on "Share" and then "Export references."

Screen grab of share and export options in RefWorks

  1. On the following pop-up menu, select "All references" and "RIS Format."
  2. Click on the Export button; an RIS file will be created and sent to your Downloads folder.
In Rayyan

Follow the above directions to import an RIS file. Now you have your citations in both RefWorks and Rayyan.

Removing Duplicates

  1. Under Data Summary in the Overview tab, click on "Detect Duplicates" and "Proceed." The software will search your citations for any duplicate titles.
  2. Once it has run the duplicate search, click on "Start Resolving."

Screen grab of Rayyan showing Data Summary in Overview tab

  1. Rayyan will pull up listings to compare side by side. Compare the title, authors, publication information, and abstract. If you are sure they are duplicates, try to keep a listing that includes a hyperlink to the article, which can be helpful later. If they are not duplicates, click on the "Keep Both Articles" button at the top.

Screen grab of Rayyan showing how duplicates appear during resolution process.

  1. You'll see that the numbers have changed in your running tally for Unresolved Duplicates.

Please note that citations aren't fully deleted, just moved to the Deleted folder for Possible Duplicates. You can see the running totals by clicking on More Details under Resolved Duplicates, or by clicking on the Review Data tab at the top of the page.

Remember too that the deduplication feature in Rayyan is great, but no system is perfect. Be sure to go through manually to make sure that all duplicates are caught.

Inviting Reviewers

  1. Select the review you are working on, and click on the "Invite Members" button. (If you are already working within the review, return to the Overview tab in the review to do this.)
  2. Enter the email addresses of each team member you'd like to add as a reviewer, as well as what type of reviewer each will be.
    1. A collaborator can do everything with the review but deletion, inviting reviewers, and setting the blind function. (The review owner must do these functions.)
    2. A viewer can only access and read the records.

Setting Blinding Preferences

When team members are invited to participate, the default is for the Blind to be ON, meaning that each collaborator can review the articles independently without knowing what the other collaborators have decided. This helps to reduce bias when determining what to include/exclude in your review.

Should you want to turn the Blind function off, simply click on "Blind On" in the bar just below the review navigation. The software will confirm that you want to turn off the blind. You'll see the button turn orange and change to "Blind Off". To revert to having the Blind function on, just click on the same button.

Screening Articles

Rayyan offers three ways to categorize articles: Include, Maybe, and Exclude. You can click on the button or use the following keys on your keyboard:

  • I = Include
  • U = Undecided (i.e., Maybe)
  • E = Exclude

You can also add a optional reason (or reasons) for exclusion from the pull-down menu to the right of the buttons, or type your own reason into the data entry box and select the text box that appears. It will then become a new option in the pull-down menu for other articles.

Screen grab of Rayyan list for Exclude with reasons

You can also use the label box to include notes or tags. These will appear as icons in your list of resources and can be used to add tags or notes to yourself for later.

Full Text Screening

Rayyan now allows for full-text screening within the same review. Click on the Full Text Screening tab and then "Add Articles" in the navigation bar. This is where using Labels during the screening process can be helpful, as labels can be used to mark what will be reviewed during the full text round.

Screen grab of Add Articles to Full Text Screening

Once titles are added to the full-text screening tab, use the Upload button to add PDFs of each study.

Creating Your PRISMA Flowchart

Rayyan will also keep track of exclusion numbers in the screening tab. Click on the purple pull-down menu under the navigation bar to see numbers for included, maybe and excluded. There is also a PRISMA link from the Overview tab that can help to start your flow diagram.

While screening is blinded, the numbers shown will be for your screening results only. When blinding is turned off, the total numbers of articles for all screeners will be displayed.

Citing Rayyan

Per the Rayyan developers, you can add the following citation to note your use of the software.

Ouzzani, M., Hammady, H., Fedorowicz, Z., & Elmagarmid, A. (2016). Rayyan — a web and mobile app for systematic reviews. Systematic Reviews, 5(1), 210.