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Stage 3: Screening: Step 2: How to Screen

The Screening Process

Prior to screening, record the number of results acquired from each database or source in a spreadsheet. You will need this for the next step when you report the screening process.

Now, you are ready to screen! Screening is a multi-level process.

The studies that pass full-text screening will be the basis of analysis for the review.

There are a few things that you must document that will be important in Step 3: How to Report the Screening Process:

  • What studies were excluded (e.g., non-randomized studies, conference abstracts)
  • The process for resolving inter-rater disagreements (e.g., reporting statistical level of inter-rater agreement, efforts made to resolve disagreements)

If you are in doubt when evaluating titles and abstracts, it is better to include rather than exclude studies


Note about screening

Although you may begin with many articles to screen, the number that make it past the inclusion/exclusion criteria is often very small.

This is a general statement, as it will also depend on the type of review being conducted, the area of study, and the review topic. However, this is something to keep in mind during the screening process.