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Systematic Reviews and other Knowledge Synthesis: Extract data

This guide covers the basics of conducting a systematic review and other types of knowledge synthesis

Extract data

You may hear this referred to as a "Synthesis Table."

It's an important step because it allows "apples to apples" comparison and will more easily inform your next step, which is Data Synthesis.

Often, this step is completed in tandem with the full-text screen. As you read full-text articles to determine suitability for inclusion, you will also code them.

Pilot testing your data extraction form with the review team is recommended (Higgins et al., 2023, Chapter 5).

Some options for creating a data extraction tool:

  • Spreadsheet or software (like Excel or Google Sheets)
  • Word or Google Docs

Data to collect:

  • article citation
  • study design
  • information about participants
  • intervention
  • outcomes
  • results


If you are interested in creating a meta-analysis, please consider the following:

Blinded reviewers (ideally two) will extract the data.