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A guide to using Rayyan, an online systematic review platform

What is Rayyan?

Rayyan, a web-tool designed to help researchers working on systematic reviews and other knowledge synthesis projects, dramatically speeds up the process of screening and selecting studies.  

Key Features

  • Web-based, with offline compatibility via a mobile app
  • Free for up to three active reviews. Paid subscriptions available, with advanced tools and allowance for additional reviews per account.
  • Blinded screening of records
  • Customizable keyword highlighting facilitates identification of relevant or irrelevant records
  • Ability to tag records with reason for exclusion
  • Identification of conflicts between reviewers


While Rayyan is a robust tool for screening articles for the purpose of conducting a knowledge synthesis study, it has several limitations:

  • Duplicate management is still under development. Visit the Managing duplicates section on this guide for more information. 
  • It does not offer PDF annotation capability. You must rely on the labeling system.
  • You cannot edit or delete any citation within a review.
  • It does not support quality assessment/appraisal or data extraction. 
  • Only an English-language interface is available.

Creating an account

Before using Rayyan, you will need to sign up for an individual account. To do so, click the "sign up" button on the Rayyan welcome page. You will need to fill out a brief form. If you do not complete all fields, you will be prompted to update your profile each time you log in to Rayyan.

As you invite others to your Rayyan review (see the Collaborating page of this guide), they will be prompted to sign up or log in to existing accounts.

Navigating in Rayyan


What we will call the "Dashboard" is the page you see once you log into Rayyan. The image below shows the dashboard (when viewed from a laptop/desktop), divided into three sections:

  • Section A: Click on these tabs to access the various reviews you belong to.
    • My Reviews: Reviews you created
    • Collaboration Reviews: Reviews to which you were invited as a collaborator
    • Translation Only Reviews: Reviews to which you were invited as a translator
    • Other Reviews: Reviews to which you were invited as a viewer
  • Section B: The reviews that fall within the selected tab will be listed here. Click on a review title to view its screening summary and access the review.
  • Section C: Here are links to create a new review and to show archived reviews. Review owners can archive reviews, and Rayyan will automatically archive reviews that have not been accessed for an unspecified period of time.

Screenshot of Rayyan dashboard


Screening Summary

Screenshot of screening summary view


Review Page

This is where the review owner and collaborators can screen records and where translators and viewers can view records. The screenshot below has been divided into three sections:

  • Section A: Filter column. Here, use different categories of filters (e.g. keywords, languages, subjects) to limit the records you see in section B. For example, if you only wish to view those records which you have not yet screened, click "undecided" in the Inclusion Decisions box.
  • Section B includes:
    • Buttons for various Rayyan functions, which will be addressed elsewhere in this guide.
    • "All Reviews" in the top right, returns you to your dashboard.
    • A full or filtered list of record citations (title, authors, publication date, rating). Click on a column header to sort the records. Click on a record to view its full details in section C.
    • Any decisions, reasons, or labels will appear before each title.
  • Section C:
    • Full record details for whichever record was selected in Section B.
    • Decision buttons (include, exclude, maybe). Click these or use Rayyan's keyboard shortcuts to mark records for inclusion or exclusion.
    • Reason and Label menus