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Table 3 Summary of the reported advantages and disadvantages of each software package

From: Usability and acceptability of four systematic review automation software packages: a mixed method design

Advantages Disadvantages
Covidence
- Easy to learn how to use
- Straightforward process and simple layout to follow, easy to use
- Does not require downloading (available online), making it versatile/accessible when out of office
- Countdown of screened citations
- Option to highlight key words (regarding reason for including/excluding citation)
- References yet to be screened, automatically move up to the top of the page
- Fairly/very user friendly
- Potential bugs/glitches in software
- Slow to respond once user has made a judgement to include/exclude citation
- No library of categorised articles (unable to view how many articles have been included or excluded)
- User must refresh the library to update the number of citations yet to screen (not automatic)
- User is unable to change their mind regarding including or excluding a previous reference as the references disappear once a decision is made
SRA-Helper for EndNote
- Very easy to learn how to use
- Offer keyboard shortcuts with the ability to map buttons onto decisions
- Very fast response time (only limited by the speed of your computer)
- No server delays as it is not dependent on internet connection
- Ability to see libraries of ‘include’, ‘exclude’ or ‘maybe’, automatically populate
- Intuitive layout
- Efficient for screening titles/abstracts
- Fairly user friendly
- Requires downloading and installing
- Bugs/crashing
- May take time to learn how to use keyboard shortcuts and to create folders/map keys onto decisions
Rayyan
- Very easy to learn how to use
- Intuitive interface
- Ability to highlight included keywords in green and excluded in red
- Fairly user friendly
- Ability to tag notes/labels to articles
- Manageable/quick response rate
- Glitches in software causing delays
RobotAnalyst
- Easy to learn how to use and easy to use
- Intuitive layout
- Presents an overall summary of progress (pie graph)
- Live estimations tool aids in guiding responses to subsequent citations
- Entire citation highlights the relevant colour once decision is made (i.e. red for exclude)
- Fairly user-friendly
- Slow/manageable response time
- Lacks ability to input and highlight included/excluded terms, which would quicken screening
- Predictions are not always reliable, especially when few inclusions
- The decision buttons (include/exclude/unsure) are small and too close together