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Rayyan for Systematic Reviews

Gradual phasing out of this guide


Gradual phasing out of Rayyan support
Since Rayyan has now moved to a paid-subscription model, we will no longer be supporting Rayyan, and this guide is no longer being updated. McGill now has an institutional subscription to Covidence, a screening tool with more robust features than Rayyan. Please visit McGill's Covidence page for more information.

Create an account

Before using Rayyan, all collaborators need to sign up for individual accounts. This is a brief process which involves filling in a form which is then manually checked by the Rayyan admins.  This check usually happens very quickly but we would advise that the process is completed a day or two before the actual screening is likely to start.

To sign up, click on the "sign up" button on the Rayyan welcome page.

Browser compatibility

Check your browser compatibility before logging into your account. 

Creating a new review

To create a new review, select "New review..." from the home screen. Give the review a title, an optional description, and hit the "create" button. This review will now appear in the "My Reviews" tab when you enter Rayyan. Only reviews that you have created will appear in the "My Reviews" tab.

Screenshot of page to create a new review

There is no limit on the number of reviews one can create.

Importing records and managing your library

Importing records into Rayyan

Rayyan claims to be compatible with the following text formats: EndNote Export (.enw), RIS, CSV and PubMed XML.  However, we have found that RIS exports from a number of databases fail to import successfully into Rayyan. To get around this problem, and to follow best practices for systematic and scoping reviews, we advise the following steps:

1. Export all of the results from each database into EndNote or another citation manager

2. Deduplicate your reference library

3. Export from your citation manager in RIS format.


To export to RIS in Endnote:

1. Highlight all of the references in the library by clicking into the reference list, and pressing CTRL-A (PC) or Command-A (Mac) to highlight all.

Screenshot of EndNote with all references highlighted

2. Then go to File-->Export

EndNote menu screenshot for export

3. From the menu, select File Type: Text Only and Output Style: RIS. Export Selected Reference should remain checked. Save this file somewhere easy for you to find.

EndNote file save screenshot

Export guides are available for other citation managers: Mendeley, Paper, RefWorks

Importing RIS into Rayyan

Once you have created the RIS file of your reference library, you will need to import the RIS file into your newly created Rayyan review. You will see the following screen after creating your review or when you click on the name of an empty review in the "My Reviews" tab. You will select the files and hit continue.

Please note: if you have an large number of references (+1000), it can take some time for the references to upload.


Adding to an existing Rayyan project

It is possible to add records to an existing Rayyan project.  To do this, open the project, and then click on "New Search" in the top right hand corner.

NOTE: We recommend completing all of your database searches, importing all records into a citation management package such Endnote, and deduplicating your records before importing into Rayyan.


Editing and deleting records

It is not possible to edit or delete individual records which have been completely imported into a Rayyan project.  However, it is possible to delete an entire import by clicking on the trash can icon next to the import in the "Search methods" box on the left hand side.

Managing duplicates within Rayyan

Duplicate detection, resolution and reporting is still under development, and seems to constantly be changing. We strongly recommend that you use a different software (such as EndNote) to removed the duplicated records before importing your library in Rayyan.

However, if you choose to use Rayyan for this purpose, the duplicate records will be detected automatically. After few minutes, Rayyan will display a special icon beside each record that has a possible duplicate. By selecting the record, you will see  "possible duplicate" tag as well as the option to accept the duplicate and delete it, or reject it and keep it as a separate record. There is also the option to 'undo' if you deleted any record by mistake. 

Need help? Ask us!

Liaison Librarian

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Martin Morris
Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Engineering
Macdonald-Stewart Library Building
809 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal, Québec H3A 0C1
(514) 398 8140
Website Skype Contact: martinatmcgill
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Liaison Librarian

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Jill Boruff
Please email me with questions or to request an appointment.

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