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Using NVivo in systematic reviews

How you can use NVivo in completing systematic reviews

Systematic reviews

In 1979 Archie Cochrane said "It is surely a great criticism of our profession that we have not organised a critical summary, by specialty or subspecialty, adapted periodically, of all relevant randomised controlled trials." With the volume or published research growing at an ever increasing rate it was becoming more and more difficult for clinicians to keep up. In 1993 The Cochrane Collaboration was born to heed Archie Cochrane's call. There had been earlier "systematic reviews" but The Cochrane Collaboration set a standard and a philosophy. With the formation of the Campbell Collaboration in 1999 the ideology of The Cochrane Collaboration was spread to the Social Sciences and systematic reviews achieved greater acceptance in fields outside of Medicine.


NVivo is qualitative data analysis software developed by QSR international. In 1981 NUD*IST (Non-Numerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching and Theorising) software was developed. Popular quantitative data analysis software SPSS was developed in 1966. As in most ways quantitative research software was well ahead of it's qualitative sibling. NVivo as we now know it was created in 1999.