To import references into Covidence, you'll need a citation file in one of the following formats:

  • EndNote XML
  • PubMed text
  • RIS text

For manually identified references (e.g. grey literature), we recommend the following three steps:

  1. Import or manually enter the references into your reference manager software.
  2. Export them in one of the above formats.
  3. Import the file into Covidence.

You can import references into any stage of your review by going to Import>Import from file and selecting the relevant review section from the drop-down menu.

The PRISMA flowchart in Covidence does not distinguish between separate imports and grey literature references will not be displayed separately on your chart. It is possible, however, to tag grey literature references once they have been imported. Our recommended method for doing this is:

  1. Make a note of the Covidence ID number for each record as it is imported
  2. Use the 'Find a study' box to search for and tag these records individually


Finally, to retain a record of these ID numbers within Covidence, we recommend that you add them to the Search strategy or the Previous citation section of Settings for safe keeping.