Before getting started

  1. Read this overview article which explains how this feature works
  2. Enable the study centric data feature in RevMan Web
  3. The Covidence upload works with the study centric data feature in RMWeb. For non-Cochrane reviews this will be enabled by default, for Cochrane reviews you can get this enabled by Managing Editors or the Cochrane support team. You can also use the practice review in RevMan Web to test this feature and the import. For more information about study centric data read this Cochrane knowledge base article.
  4. (Optional) Upload reference data. If you want to upload the reference data for included studies, upload the RIS file before importing the CSVs. This needs to be done before you import the CSVs into RevMan Web. If you import them afterwards then you’ll get duplicate studies in RevMan Web.



Importing data to RevMan Web

Covidence produces 4 CSVs to import into RevMan Web. The following steps outline how to ensure the data in the CSVs can be successfully uploaded into RevMan Web.  

1. Download the 4 CSVs from Covidence: 

a. Click “Export” on the review summary page and then click on the “Export to RevMan Web” tab.

b. Click on the “Export RevMan Web file” button to download the 4 CSVs: Study information, Study arms, Study results, Risk of bias.

c. If “Study custom results” is also exported this means that some data will need to be manually added into RevMan Web. See the last section of this document which explains those steps.


2. Add ‘Identification’ field to study characteristics tables in RMWeb.

a. Some data is captured in the “Identification” section in Extraction 1.0. This is exported in the “Study information” CSV in column “Char: Identification”:

b. In RevMan Web, ‘Identification’ is not a default field in the study characteristics tables. To enable the data captured in Covidence to be exported, navigate to “PICO” in RMWeb, then “Characteristics”, and select “Add characteristic definition”. Then rename the characteristic to “Identification”.


3. Map study arms to Interventions in RevMan Web.

a. Interventions can be found in RevMan web by navigating to “PICO” and then clicking “Interventions”. Interventions defined in the “PICO” are the basis for synthesizing results from studies:


b. In the “Study arms” csv, Covidence populates the “Arm” column but the “Intervention” column is blank. Map the ‘Arm’ column to review level interventions you’ve defined in RevMan Web by adding intervention names into the “Interventions” column:

Note: the intervention names must be added into the CSV and they must match exactly with those added into RevMan Web otherwise you’ll get errors when you try to import the CSV.


4. Check outcome names captured in Covidence match those defined in RMWeb.

a. Outcomes can be found in RevMan web by navigating to “PICO” and then clicking “Outcomes”. Outcomes defined in the “PICO” are the basis for synthesising results from studies.

b. (optional) you might want to tidy up the outcome names added into the csv to ensure the same outcomes across studies have the same spellings and align to the outcomes you will be creating analysis for in RevMan Web. If you’ve added multiple timepoints for an outcome these need to be added into RevMan Web as separate outcomes.

c. Check that the outcome names in the csv match those in RevMan Web and have the correct type (Continuous or Dichotomous). 

d. Top tip: If you have lots of outcome names you can use the formula below to get a unique list of outcomes which will help you check that these match those in RevMan.

Note: The outcome names must match exactly or you’ll receive an error when uploading to RevMan Web.



5. (Optional) Add any covariates to the CSV before uploading.

a. If you want to subgroup by a property of the included studies, you can add “Covariates” and the relevant categories into RevMan Web. You can do this by navigating to “PICO” in RMWeb, then selecting “Covariates”. Once you’ve added the Covariates and the categories you can: Either, add these manually to each study after importing the data. This might be quicker for a small amount of studies.

b. Or, you can add the relevant covariate and categories into “Studies info” CSV before uploading. You can do this by naming the column “Cov: xyz” where “xyz” is the Covariate name and adding the relevant category e.g. “<4%” or “>4%” to the studies you want to subgroup:

Note: the covariate and category names must match exactly with those added into RevMan Web otherwise you’ll get an error when you import the CSV.


6. Check that the risk of bias domains and outcome groups captured in Covidence match those in RevMan Web.

a. You can find the review level risk of bias settings in RevMan Web by navigating to the “PICO” page and selecting “Risk of bias”.

b. In the “Risk of bias” CSV check the name of the domains match with those in RevMan Web. In RevMan Web, add any “Groups” to the relevant domains by adding outcome groups. Note: The domain names and groups (outcome groups) must be added and must match exactly before you import. This includes the group "All outcomes".


7. Import data.

a. Once you have cross checked the "Study information", “Study arms”, “Study results” and “Risk of bias (ROB)” CSVs to ensure that they match with what you have added into RevMan Web. You are ready to upload the 4 CSVs to RevMan Web. Navigate to the Dashboard in RevMan Web and click “Import study data”.

b. Navigate to the Dashboard in RevMan Web and click “Import study data”. Select “Import from template”.

c. Upload the 4 files provided by Covidence that you’ve edited and select “import study data”:

d. Once the import is complete you’ll see a message at the top of the screen stating “import complete”. You’ll likely see some formatting messages but that’s ok as long as it states the same number of studies you expected RevMan to find:

If you get any errors stating “File contains inconsistent data” it's most likely because the interventions, outcomes, risk of bias domains and outcome groups don't match exactly to those in RevMan Web. Double check that there are no additional spaces or formatting differences between the CSVs and RevMan Web. For example; differences in upper and lower case characters between the CSVs and RevMan.



Adding custom outcomes into RevMan Web

You will need to add a custom outcome into RevMan Web if you have added any custom effect measures into Covidence. You might also want to create custom outcomes if you have within study subgroups. For more information read this Cochrane knowledge base article.

1. If you have added any custom measures into Covidence, then a file will be created called “Study custom results” when your exporting your RevMan Web files. These can’t be uploaded to RevMan Web, but you can manually create analyses by navigating to “Analyses” and selecting “Add Analysis”.

2. Select “custom input”

3. Then select the data type “Other” data and define how many columns and how many rows per study.

4. Label your columns and add in your data for the relevant studies.


For more information about importing data to RevMan Web, read this article.