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Covidence is a web-based platform that streamlines the process of conducting a comprehensive literature review.

Why do quality assessment?

A high-quality, well-designed systematic reviews should be conducted and published in order to provide the best available evidence. The reason for assessing the quality of systematic reviews is to examine the confidence of review findings. Quality can be defined as ‘the extent of standards to protect all aspects of research design and implementation from systematic error, unsystematic error, and inferential error.’ Quality assessment is also important for judging the overall strength of evidence on given research questions and is considered in evaluation of the methodological quality of a research design and implementation rather than the intervention’s true effect in the process of research (Seo & Kim, 2012).

How do I engage in quality assessment?

Once you have completed full text screening, included articles will be moved to the "Extraction" portion of the review, where you can extract data from each study and rate its quality:

Step 1. From the "Review Summary" page select the horizontal tab labeled "Extraction"

Step 2. At “Extraction”, click “Continue” 

To assess quality, Covidence has built in the Cochrane Risk of Bias (RoB) template. You can choose to use the Cochrane tool (which is designed for rating RCTs), or you can customize the questions available for Risk of Bias to create your own template. You must choose either the Cochrane RoB or a custom RoB. If you choose the custom RoB, you cannot change your selection back to Cochrane. 

Note: Regardless of whether you choose the Cochrane tool or another RoB tool, make sure you are using a validated critical appraisal tool. 

Step 3. The first reviewer starts to assess the quality of each study.

Step 4. After the first reviewer completes the assessment of all included studies, the status of the article's assessment will be displayed.

Step 5. After all reviewers complete the quality assessment, they will see a comparison of the assessment to a study.


For more information on Quality Assessment, please refer to Covidence’s Quality Assessment support page which includes further detailed information on:

  • QA Overview
  • Start an assessment
  • Customize the Risk of Bias domains
  • Start assessing by reading and annotating the PDF
  • Finishing your assessment
  • Comparing reviewer assessments
  • Viewing other assessments


Click the “?” icon directly in the Covidence webpage banner (see below). 


E-mail Covidence directly at, or e-mail a UVic Librarian,

Works Cited

Seo, H., Kim, K.U. Quality assessment of systematic reviews or meta-analyses of nursing interventions conducted by Korean reviewers. BMC Med Res Methodol 12, 129 (2012).

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