Free evidence synthesis resources for researchers and librarians 

New content will be added to the list below as it becomes available. If you know of open access evidence synthesis tools that should be added to this list, please email us at

Browse our public Zotero library of evidence synthesis research here.  

Open Access Evidence Synthesis Training Materials

The Evidence Synthesis Institute is a training program aimed at library staff supporting evidence syntheses in topics outside of the health sciences, and is fully funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The teaching slides from this institute are available here and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Slides cover all aspects of the evidence synthesis process and much of the content is applicable to researchers as well as librarians. 

Introduction to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offered through Coursera, describes and provides instruction for completing all stages of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Cochrane Interactive Learning provides tutorials for performing systematic reviews on health-related topics. Module 1: Introduction to Conducting Systematic Reviews is free if you sign up for a Cochrane account. 

INASP provides a free search strategies tutorial to teach users how to clearly define and describe a search topic, identify suitable search terms, pick the best platform(s) on which to search, and use tools and techniques to refine and modify your search. 

Open Access Evidence Synthesis Software Tools

SR Toolbox: a web-based catalogue of tools that support various tasks within the systematic review and wider evidence synthesis process

Rayyan: Free article screening tool 

Zotero: Free citation management tool 

RawGraphs: Free tool for creating appealing graphs

Open Science Framework Preregistration: Free, open source resource for preregistering evidence synthesis protocols, with well-documented guidance on using the tool

SnowGlobe: Free tool for "snowballing" included resources (locating their citations, and those papers that have cited them).  

Open Access Databases and Grey Literature Sources

PubMed comprises more than 32 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites. The PubMed Trainer's Toolkit contains instruction materials and short tutorials for navigating PubMed.