Decide ahead of time if you need a tool or software to manage your search results, references, project data, etc. If you are working in a team, consider tools useful for collaborating with other members.
Reference management tools
Bibliographic software or reference management tools allow you to store and manage large numbers of search results from various databases, remove duplicate records, annotate, and cite the papers. Many teams use tools such as EndNote, Mendeley or Papers.
Bern University Library offers a range of workshops on reference management (Literaturverwaltung). Please see Kurse und Beratung for the schedules and course descriptions.
See also Tools und Programme für das Studium und die Forschung (scroll to the bottom of page)
Retrieving records from multiple databases will result in duplicate records. You can remove duplicates before screening records. Many reference management and systematic review software have semiautomatic de-duplication options. Once you have decided on a tool, review their instructions on the de-duplication process.
Keep a record of the total number of results and the number of results after de-duplication.
For EndNote users, here are the steps to removing duplicates by McGill University Libraries: Deduplication in EndNote
Systematic review software
You will need to keep track of whether an article meets your inclusion criteria and why. An Excel spreadsheet organized by article and inclusion and exclusion criteria can work for this but the development of sophisticated systematic review software has made the process much more streamlined.
Try searching the Systematic Review Toolbox, “a community-driven, searchable, web-based catalogue of tools that support the systematic review process across multiple domains” for other software tools.