A systematic review requires collaboration of multiple authors who review citations exported from each database into a bibliographic management tool such as RefWorks or EndNote. Organization of citations in RefWorks can follow the PRISMA Flow Diagram which depicts a natural flow of citations, starting from raw numbers of retrieved results to the final set of articles included in the systematic review.
The RefWorks folders in this chart organize RefWorks references according to the PRISMA 2020 Flow Diagram. For simplicity in this example, the reviewer searched two databases: PubMed and CINAHL (labeled "1...') and no registries (e.g., clinicaltrials.gov), but this can be customized depending on the research question. The references from these two folders are then added to the "2 Merged" folder where deduplication is completed. Each reference from "2 Merged" is then screened by title and abstract for inclusion or exclusion and added to the appropriate "3 Abstract" folder. PRISMA 2020 distinguishes between records (i.e., the database record with title and abstract) and reports (i.e., the full text of the article). Reports for each of the "3 Abstract include" references is sought and assessed for eligibility and assigned to the appropriate "4 Report" folder. The folder "4 report include" consists of the final set of citations in the systematic review. In some cases multiple reports will be published from a single study; provide the total number of studies included in the review, too.
|RefWorks folder name||PRISMA Flow Diagram Label|
|Records identified from databases|
|2 Merged||Subtract before and after numbers to get:
Duplicate records removed
Also, final count is:
|3 Abstract include||Reports sought for retrieval|
|3 Abstract exclude||Records excluded|
|4 Report unretrievable||
Records not retrieved
|4 Report exclude||Reports excluded|
|4 Report include||Reports included in review
Studies included in review
Mapping those 8 RefWorks folders to a PRISMA Flow Diagram: