To view information about previous imports, return to the Import studies tool (from your review dashboard), and click on the Manage imports link.


Covidence will try and identify duplicate references for you. The de-duplication mechanism checks both within the file being uploaded as well as against all previous imports.

The duplicates may be a result of having two similar references in the file that was uploaded or it could be that you have already imported the reference.

To identify duplicate references, Covidence checks on title, year, and volume, all of which must match exactly, and the authors must be similar.

You can view the duplicates from the Imports >> Manage Imports page. Click "Check Duplicates" under the import listed to see the references that were taken out. Covidence will show you two references that it thought were the same.  The reference on the left has been added to your screening list, while the reference on the right was detected as a duplicate. If any were removed by mistake you can click "not a duplicate" and they will be restored to your reference list.

Because Covidence uses a very strict de-duplication method, it has the benefit of rarely if ever taking out dupes mistakenly, but can have the side effect of missing some that a reference manager may have been able to detect. Unfortunately it is not currently possible to manually mark duplicates. In this instance, you might prefer to create a customized tag which indicates that a reference is a duplicate. You can then vote to exclude it, and use the filter by tag option later on to quickly get a count of how many references were tagged as a duplicate.


See below for a short video on how to check for, as well as manage, duplicate references detected by Covidence: 



Sometimes the data belonging to a particular reference is corrupt and Covidence is unable to import the reference.  You can view the errors for a particular import from the Import >> Manage Imports page.

Common causes for issues with importing references are as follows:

  • Invalid issue
  • Invalid volume
  • Invalid page numbers
  • An extended Journal name
  • Journal name with additional information
  • Missing typical fields
  • Incompatible formatting