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Rayyan’s PRISMA 2020 Flowchart – Ensuring Transparency, Reproducibility, and Quality

If you are at the stage in your systematic review or meta-analysis where you have completed article screening, you may be ready to generate a PRISMA flow diagram that captures your results. This diagram is going to be a summary of the number of articles identified, screened, assessed for eligibility, and included or excluded in the final analysis, along with the reasons for excluding articles.

Rayyan has just the feature for you! The PRISMA 2020 Flowchart!

Rayyan’s PRISMA flow diagram feature has been set up to conform with the PRISMA Statement 2020*. The PRISMA statement is a set of guidelines that help ensure transparent and complete reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Creating a PRISMA flow diagram on Rayyan is simple and efficient. Simply select the PRISMA button and you will be taken to a PRISMA flow diagram generator with several options and a control panel to make any necessary modifications.

This diagram is pre-populated with values available from your review, such as the number of references, the number of duplicated records, and those included for the final analysis. You can make changes or edits using the control panel and then download the completed PRISMA flow diagram in a variety of standard formats for inclusion in your manuscript. 

Below you will find information on how to use the Main Options panel to customize your PRISMA flow diagram to completion. 

1)    Include Individual Databases by Name

Databases refers to the Bibliographic sources that researchers use to identify relevant studies for inclusion in a systematic review or meta-analysis. These databases contain records of scholarly articles, conference proceedings, and other sources of literature. Examples of bibliographic databases include PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science. This video will show you how to set the number of databases and specify the number of articles found for each database by name.

2)    Include Individual Registers by Name

A register in PRISMA refers to a database or other source that contains records of ongoing or completed studies that have not yet been published. These registers can include trial registries, conference proceedings, and grey literature sources, among others. The inclusion of register searching is recommended in systematic reviews to identify relevant studies that may not have been published yet, reducing the risk of publication bias. This video will show you how to set the number of registers searched and specify the number of references found for each named individual register.

3)    Include Previous Studies

“Previous studies” refer to studies identified in a previous version of the review and those included in a previous version of the review. These studies necessarily should be included in the current review in order to build off of the previous study. This reporting is important to demonstrate the rigor of the review process and justify the final selection of studies, as well as help other researchers understand the decision-making process and potential limitations of the review. This video will show you how to modify the PRISMA flow diagram to include the number of previous studies identified and included in a previous version of the review.

4)    Include Other Searches for Studies

The PRISMA flowchart includes a section for “other searches” to account for additional sources of information that researchers may have consulted to identify relevant studies for inclusion in their systematic review or meta-analysis. While the bulk of the search strategy is typically focused on searching bibliographic databases, trial registries, and grey literature databases, researchers may also search other sources, such as:

  • Websites of relevant organizations or associations
  • Conference proceedings
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Regulatory agency websites
  • Social media platforms
  • Citation chasing and technologies that aid in discovery by other means

Rayyan. Be First.

It is important for researchers to report all of the sources they searched in their PRISMA flow diagram and publication to help others evaluate the comprehensiveness of the search strategy. It helps ensure transparency, reproducibility, and quality. The PRISMA guidelines suggest that authors should report the search strategy used to identify studies in registers and other sources, including any terms or keywords used to search these sources.

Rayyan provides you the ability to be first to report your findings offering speed with integrity. Researchers subscribing to plans gain access to premium tools, such as the PRISMA flowchart generator, Auto-resolver, PICO Highlighting and Filtering and Mobile App, to work even more efficiently to finish first.

Learn More How to Create a PRISMA Flow Diagram on Rayyan.

For more questions about PRISMA, feel free to reach out to us at

*The PRISMA 2020 statement is an updated version of the PRISMA 2009 statement, which provides reporting guidance for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The PRISMA 2020 statement includes new reporting guidance that reflects advances in methods to identify, select, appraise, and synthesize studies. The structure and presentation of the items have also been modified to facilitate implementation.