Module 3: Organizing, Managing and Screening Sources


Screening is the process of identifying suitable sources from your literature search to be “full-text” screened and eventually included in the review. As mentioned in Module 2, your inclusion and exclusion criteria can help inform which limiters to apply to exclude irrelevant results, e.g., publication year or language.

If you are conducting a systematic review, it is recommended to screen the results outside of the databases, as there will be duplication of records. A citation software tool or systematic review tool will aid in removing duplicates. Within the citation management or systematic review tool, you can screen the titles and to determine if articles are relevant, based on inclusion and exclusion criteria that could not be captured in your search strategy. Afterwards, the full-text must be retrieved and screened to determine inclusion.

Learning Activity

Screening Practice: In this activity, you are doing a review on the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy in improving mild to moderate depression in teenagers. Your inclusion criteria includes:

  • English language publications only
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Published in the last 20 years


First, screen the abstract to see if it fits  your inclusion criteria. * Don’t click on the plus symbols yet.*

Then, when you are ready, click on the plus symbols to find out if this article fits with your inclusion criteria.


Abstract of Kroll, L., Harrington, R., Jayson, D., Fraser, J., & Gowers, S. (1996). Pilot study of continuation cognitive-behavioral therapy for major depression in adolescent psychiatric patients. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35(9), 1156–1161. This screen grab from PubMed , National Library of Medicine (NLM) is included on the basis of fair dealing.


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Advanced Research Skills: Conducting Literature and Systematic Reviews Copyright © 2021 by Kelly Dermody; Cecile Farnum; Daniel Jakubek; Jo-Anne Petropoulos; Jane Schmidt; and Reece Steinberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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