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Covidence: Extracting Data

This guide offers instructions and tips for using the Covidence platform and links to the most relevant resources from the Covidence Knowledge Base.

Introduction to Extraction

See an overview of the extraction phase:

  • Version 2.0: This is the most current version and the default. We recommend it for most projects. 
  • Version 1.0

Setting Up Data Extraction and Quality Assessment Forms

The Data Extraction form must be published before reviewers can begin to extract. The Quality Assessment form is optional.

Covidence offers two sets of template forms (1.0 and 2.0), which you can then customize. You can choose which template to use under “Settings” and then “Review Settings.”

You also have the option of building a form from scratch if necessary.

More information:

To facilitated consistent extraction of information, the questions on the forms should:

  • Be based on what data you intend to report or analyze (e.g., primary and secondary outcomes, sub-analyses, patient subgroups, important definitions)
    • Going back later to add information that was omitted is much harder and more time-consuming than planning in advance.
  • Use as few free text fields as possible
  • Add instructions, where relevant, on how data should be entered (e.g., preferred measure/scale, number of decimal places, formatting of dates and/or percentages, appropriate units).

You can update the forms while extraction is ongoing and the changes will populate to the forms for all studies for extraction, even those already completed.

  • Pilot testing with a small number of articles will help you refine the forms and reduce the need to edit them later. 
  • If you do make changes, reviewers will need to go back to completed forms to address fields that were added or altered.
  • The revised forms may also need to go through consensus again.

Conducting Data Extraction and Quality Assessment

See an overview of how to complete the Data Extraction and Quality Assessment forms.

Keep in mind:

  • If both Data Extraction and Quality Assessment are being conducted, the two forms must be completed by the same reviewer.
    • It is possible to have two reviewers enter data into the same extraction form, although it must be done sequentially rather than at the same time. To designate the reviewers, use the "Manage reviewers" button under the reference (it will only show up once extraction has started).
  • Although the “Add full text” button shows up in blue below each reference, this does not refer to PDFs that were already uploaded during the full text review. It is there so you can add other full text (e.g., appendices or supplementary materials) if needed.
    • You can still get to the article PDF by clicking the “View full text” button.
  • Comments can be added during extraction to incorporate notes that fall outside the scope of the form itself. They will be visible during the consensus process.
  • References remain “In Progress” until both reviewers (if applicable) click “Send for Consensus.”

Completing Consensus

See an overview of the consensus process.

Keep in mind:

  • All extraction forms must go through a consensus phase to determine the final information.
    • Even after this process is completed, it is still possible to edit the data if needed.
  • If two reviewers are used, differences in their responses will show up as conflicts.

Resources from Covidence

In addition to assistance provided by the library, Covidence offers extensive resources for users.

Introductory webinar 

  • You can sign up for the monthly live webinar or see a recording of a previous session.

Knowledge base 

  • This site has a wide variety of instructions and videos for different aspects of Covidence.

Email Covidence

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