Apply Criteria

The Inclusion/Exclusion stage is where we select which references are important to our rapid literature review. The approach with a Synthesis review is we pull in all the references into Synthesis and then through technology and enhanced workflow we identify the references of importance for our rapid review.

  1. Inclusion/Exclusion criteria can be applied by either going into the Paper Tab and using the Include Abstract drop-down menu and selecting Include or Excluded. All references start out in Synthesis as Unknown.
  2. Additional Exclusion reasons can be added in the Project Settings (see Project Settings). This provides more of an explanation as to why a reference was excluded.
    • Note: Prefixing the exclusion reason with "Exclusion - " helps in the sorting and display of the Exclusion reasons (i.e. "Excluded - Foreign Paper")
    • Note: It is useful to add an "Excluded - Read Later" reason to identify papers of interest that may not be relevant to your current literature review.
  3. There is also the ability to add Comments for each reference under the Paper Tab. Comments can be extracted from Synthesis either using the "Export to CSV" button [TODO] on the Synthesis Main Window or by selecting the Bibliography Tab (see Bibliography Tab) on the Synthesis Main Window and selecting the approriate Bibliography format (i.e. contains the Comment output).
  4. To help in applying the Inclusion/Exclusion criteria, it is useful to use the Search filter in the Synthesis Main Window. As this will allow you to filter the content you are looking for, so that your mind is already in the mindset of either including those references or excluding them. For example, if your inclusion criteria is to include all "ICU" references, then searching for "title:ICU" already puts your mindset into the fact that these references are most likely ICU-related.

    Figure: Apply Inclusion/Exclusion

  5. All the references are classified as either Unknown, Included, or Excluded. In the Main Synthesis window, the references can be viewed using these categories (i.e. only display the included articles).
  6. If your literature review has more than one reviewer, then you can set the Primary and Secondary Researcher views in the Project Settings (see Project Settings).

    Figure: View Reference Categories (Unknown, Included, Excluded)