Title and abstract screening involve a rapid examination of the titles and abstracts of the records identified through a search strategy to determine their relevance for a review. It is one of the most time-consuming tasks in a systematic review.
A recent study conducted by Zhang and Neitzel from the Center for Research and Reform in Education (Johns Hopkins University) reviewed the tools developed to support the screening process. The authors conducted a review of the tools used in systematic reviews published in Review of Educational Research and assessed their features.
Results showed that only 4% of the identified studies reported the use of a screening tool, such as DistillerAI, EPPI-Reviewer, and Covidence. Based on the features analysis conducted by the authors, Covidence, DistillerAI, and EPPI-Reviewer were the top performing tools. In conclusion, the authors proposed a decision tree to support researchers in choosing the right tool to use in their review based on relevant features, such as full-text review function, cost, and machine learning.
Source: Zhang, Q., & Neitzel, A. (2023). Choosing the Right Tool for the Job: Screening Tools for Systematic Reviews in Education. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 0(0), 1–27. https://doi.org/10.1080/19345747.2023.2209079