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Systematic Reviews

Documenting search strategy

Documenting searches

It is essential to keep track of what you are doing by documenting your search process in enough detail to report it correctly in the review.

Documentation of your search strategy should include:

  • databases used
  • date of search
  • dates of coverage provided by each database
  • search terms used
  • total publications found
  • number of relevant publications
  • limits applied

Step Two - Reporting searches

There are a number of places where searches can be reported. These include the appendix, the review abstract, the methods section , the results section or as supplementary material. 


EndNote is citation management software that is free to NUS students, faculty, and staff. With EndNote, you can: import references directly from multiple databases; organize and manage references; and format bibliographies and manuscripts.

NUS EndNote guide is available here.

NUS Libraries Systematic Review Output Style

A customised tab-delimited style that outputs selected fields for screening of studies. Follow the installation guide below to install this output style in EndNote.

EndNote X9 videos:

These bite-sized videos produced by NUS Librarians  will guide you on how to manage your search results by exporting the citations to EndNote Library. 

Note: These videos are restricted for viewing to NUS Staff and students only. Requires login with NUSNET ID/Password.

Introduction to EndNote  (7.55 mins)

Export citations from PubMed (4.31 mins)

Export citations from Embase (5.00 mins)

Export citations from the Cochrane Library (5.25 mins)

Export citations from CINAHL (4.43 mins) 

Export citations from Scopus (3.28 mins)

Finding and removing duplicates (8.45 mins)

Cite While You Write (CWYW) (8.46 mins)