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Workshops: Rayyan

Learn to use the tool Rayyan for Systematic Literature Reviews

Workshop Materials

Rayyan is a tool to help build Systematic Literature Reviews and is a offered by Rayyan Systems Inc. as a free online tool. You will need to sign up for an account at Rayyan.

For additional information you can read the following information

What is a Literature Review

A Literature Review is the gathering of peer-review scholarly journal articles, books, dissertations, and thesis relevant to a particular topic, area of research, or theory, that provides a summary and critical evaluation of each item. The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic.

Literature Reviews can be one step in the process of writing peer-reviewed scholarly articles or can be a systematic review that stands alone. 

Literature Review

  • Critiques and summarizes a body of literature
  • Draws conclusions about the topic
  • Identifies gaps or inconsistencies in the literature
  • Requires a sufficiently focused research question
  • Shows command of the subject area and understanding of the problem
  • Brings the reader up-to-date with current literature on a topic
  • Justification for future research in the area

Systematic Literature Review

  • More rigorous and well-defined method described in detail
  • Details the time frame within which the literature was selected
  • Details the methods used to evaluate and synthesize findings of the primary research in question


  • A form of systematic review
  • Takes findings from several studies on the same subject and analyzes them using standardized statistical procedures
  • Integrates findings from a large body of quantitative findings to enhance understanding
  • Detects patterns and relationships


  • A form of systematic review
  • Non-statistical technique
  • Integrates, evaluates and interprets findings of multiple qualitative research studies
  • Involves analyzing and synthesizing key elements
  • Goal: transformative of the individual findings into new conceptualizations and interpretations

Steps in a Literature Review

This page was developed to help users understand what a literature review was and to understand what steps are involved in completing a Literature Review. In addition, there are several boxes that refer you to materials that could be useful while building a Literature Review.  Particularly the flow diagram displayed below clearly shows the process.

Basic Steps: 

  1. Define the Research Question
  2. Plan the Review 
    • where will you search?
    • which databases?
    • what time frame?
    • what years included?
    • what keywords?
    • what subject terms?
    • what will you not search, if anything?
  3. Research the Literature
  4. Analysis the Gathered Items
  5. Write the Review


An organization dedicated to  evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. To learn more see their website at However, Prisma suggests citing one of their papers and therefore please see

The Flow Diagram is in picture format in the box to the right. 

The checklist offer is useful as you start the process of putting the data together - see below

PRISMA Flow Diagram for a Systematic Review

Workshop video - recorded Jan 2023

***Please note record started late, I forgot to turn it on at the beginning.***