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Systematic Reviews

A guide to conducting systematic reviews at the University of the Sunshine Coast

Find Full Text

EndNote can automatically find and attach the full text of journal articles to your Endnote records.

You will need to follow the setup instructions for enabling Find Full Text.


  • The Find Full Text commands will only work for UniSC subscribed full text resources, as well as some open access resources. Due to the nature of some databases and authentication issues, not all University subscribed resources will be retrieved.
  • In addition, records which include a DOI within the DOI field will retrieve more full text. When downloading from databases ensure you select to include the DOI in downloaded records.

EndNote - Referencing and bibiographic management software

What is Endnote?

See our Endnote Guide for a full explanation and follow the instructions in our Endnote 20 tutorial.

Also relevant is our Endnote Online Guide.

A useful article: King, R., Hooper, B., & Wood, W. (2011). Using bibliographic software to appraise and code data in educational systematic review research. Medical Teacher, 33(9), 719-723. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.558138

Importing References from Database Searches into EndNote

Importing references from your databases searches is usually straightforward, and generally involves the following steps:

  1. Search a database
  2. Mark the records you want to save
  3. Select the database's direct export option
  4. Select the EndNote library you wish to export the records to

The table below includes details of how to import references from some of the library's databases into EndNote. For advice on other databases not listed here, contact your Librarian.

The transfer of records from databases into EndNote is not an exact science - problems can and do occur. It is therefore important to check the quality of records at the point of transfer.

When records are transferred into your Library the Reference Window initially displays just the transferred references (your other references will be temporarily hidden). This provides a perfect opportunity to check records for any issues.

Tips: Annotating Records with Database Details

Tip (on a postit)

Use EndNote's Change and Move Field command to automatically add text(such as the name of the database, saved search name, or date searched) to your imported records.Flash

This is very handy for keeping track of where records came from, and assists you if you need to return to the database for any reason later on.

Tip (on a postit)

Use EndNote's Groups and Group Sets command to quickly identify databases searched, then create individual groups to house results from each of the databases.

To create a Group Set (eg. the "Databases" set in the image at right):

  • Select Groups | Create Group Sets. Name the group set then press <Enter>.

Next, create each group to include in the set:

  • Select Groups | Create Groups. Name the group then press <Enter>.
  • Continue to create groups.

To add references to groups:

  • Highlight the reference in the Library Window and drag the reference to the specific group.

Endnote Group Set

Checking for Duplicate Records

Once all databases have been searched, and records downloaded into EndNote (and a note made of the number of results retrieved from each database) you must identify and delete duplicate records.

To ensure that all duplicate records are identified and deleted:

  1. Run the EndNote Find Duplicates command (available from within EndNote, via References > Find Duplicates).
    By default EndNote will identify a record as a duplicate if it includes the same author/s, year of publication and title as another record within the Library.
  2. After running the EndNote Find Duplicates command it is essential that you follow up with a manual check of your Library for duplicates.
    Re-sort your Library Window alphabetically by title (click the Title column heading), then visually scan, identify and delete duplicated records.

Coding Records for Reviewers to Work With

Some reviewers will be working with specialized software.  These systems take review teams through the entire review process step-by step. The main ones are:

COVIDENCE: a systematic review management platform developed by the Cochrane Collaboration.  UniSC has an unlimited Institutional licence. Instructions: New users need to register for access using your UniSC email address. Visit our Covidence support page to find information about creating an individual account with Covidence, joining UniSC’s subscription, and getting started.

Covidence provides video support here.

JBI SUMARI: UniSC has a site licence via the Ovid platform. Reviewers must create an Ovid username and password to access the platform.

ENDNOTE features may be used to assist systematic reviewers to code references, for example for inclusion or exclusion. Use Endnote's Groups and Group Sets to categorize references.

nVivo: This software is available to UniSC researchers and is particularly useful in the coding phase of a qualitative review. nVivo can analyse article PDFs for word frequencies to enable thematic groupings of references. nVivo can be used in conjunction with Endnote in this process.
For a good example see: Houghton, C., Murphy, K. Meehan, B. Thomas, J., & Brooker D. (2016). From screening to synthesis: Using nVivo to enhance transparency in qualitative evidence synthesis. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(5-6):873-881.

nVivo getting started and support can be found here.

Marking records

You can use spare filed in Endnote records to indicate when an article has been read.

You can use the custom field option in EndNote to mark records.

The custom field in EndNote allows you to set up a field that you have control over (e.g. name it as "Read") and include that in the EndNote library display.

For example when an article has been read, you can then open the record and type “Yes” inside the Read field and then that would be displayed in your EndNote library and in any groups you view.

Alternatively, you can use another field, such as "Label" which is usually not used for other purposes.

At any time you can search (Spyglass icon on toolbar) this field for the term "Yes or "Read" to see all the records that fit that description.

Other Issues to Consider

Handling Extraneous Text Included with Downloaded Records

Records downloaded from some databases (MEDLINE and others) often import information into EndNote's "Type of Work/Article" field. This information usually relates to a research grant or study design, and some EndNote Output Styles (including Vancouver and APA) are formatted to include this additional information in reference list entries, resulting in references such as below:

Biro MA, Waldenstrom U, Pannifex JH. Team midwifery care in a tertiary level obstetric service: A randomized controlled trial.  Birth. [Clinical Trial
Comparative Study
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]. 2000;27(3):168-73.

References should appear as:

Biro MA, Waldenstrom U, Pannifex JH. Team midwifery care in a tertiary level obstetric service: A randomized controlled trial. Birth. 2000;27(3):168-73.

Two options are available to correct this:

  1. The EndNote Output Style can be modified to exclude the "Type of Work/Article" field from appearing in the reference list entries.
  2. The extraneous text can be deleted permanently from the "Type of Work/Article" field, or the text can be moved to another unused field within each record. Within EndNote click Tools > Change and Move Fields. Select Type of Work from the dropdown list, then Clear Field, then click OK. Once this action is complete, all text appearing in the Type of Work field (includes Type of Article) will be deleted.

Other Bibliographic Software

Please note: UniSC does not provide support for the following software.

Mendeley: Generate references, citations and bibliographies in a whole range of journal styles with just a few clicks.

Zotero: A free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research.

LaTeX and BibTeX: Suitable for more technical subjects especially mathematics.

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