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University of York Library
Library Subject Guides

Systematic Reviews: a Practical Guide


What is Covidence?

Covidence is an online software tool designed to streamline the process of conducting a systematic review (or a similarly detailed literature review such as a meta-analysis).

You can use Covidence to collaborate with a team of reviewers to screen results (at both title/abstract and full text stages), complete data extraction and work on risk of bias.

Watch the video on the right from Covidence for an introduction to the system.

Accessing Covidence

At the University of York we have an institutional licence for Covidence, enabling you to create unlimited reviews within the system. Read our joining instructions below to create your account or to link your existing free account to the University of York licence. Please note the important information about creating and maintaining your account. Anyone at the University is welcome to use Covidence, but it is specifically designed for when you need to conduct a systematic review or similarly detailed literature review methodology.

Joining instructions

  1. Visit our University of York page on the Covidence site.
  2. Enter your information (using your or email address and click "Request Invitation".
  3. Accept the invitation in your email.
  4. Log in to your existing Covidence account or sign up for a new account. You must not use your University password for your Covidence account.
  5. If you have already joined the University of York's Covidence account, then you can access Covidence and log in with your email and password.
  6. After clicking the link “Create new review” you will have the option to use your personal account license or select the University of York account. Reviews created under the institutional license will be visible to the administrators of the University of York Covidence account. Your personal account review(s) will only be seen by you.

Important information for Covidence users

  • As per your agreement with the University of York, you must not use your University password to setup your Covidence account.
  • If you sign up to use Covidence you are required to set up a personal user account. As a user of Covidence you need to read and agree to their privacy policy. Please ensure you are happy with their terms of service as an individual service user before you agree to using their service.
  • You can export your reviews at any time and Covidence recommend in their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy that you do this on a regular basis to back-up your work.
  • Sharing and revoking access to your reviews cannot be managed centrally therefore it is the Covidence user responsibility to manage these access processes.

Support with Covidence

Support to use the system is largely provided by Covidence themselves, who maintain a detailed Knowledge Base with lots of useful guidance. This includes a number of video tutorials to guide you through the main features of the system.

They also run regular webinars providing an overview of the system, or you can email them for advice at Follow the Covidence blog to read updates about the system and articles on how to use it.

For questions about the University of York licence and access to Covidence, please email Please note, however, that we are unable to provide detailed support and guidance to use the system. For support with conducting systematic reviews or literature searching in general, please contact your Faculty Librarians. Find their contact details on the Library Subject Guide for your department.