The Literature Searching guide shows you how to complete an effective literature search from beginning to end. Use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate through the guide.
Remember: the Library team provides a range of research support services to Monash Health employees and students. Attend a live webinar, book a research consultation, or request a literature search and get in touch with the Library team if you have any questions.
Deduplication is the process of removing duplicate records from search results when multiple databases are searched. Duplicate records occur when search results from multiple databases are exported into one combined file or reference management system, such as Endnote.
When to deduplicate?
Deduplication is done prior to screening results.
Note: When conducting a systematic review or meta-analysis you must:
How to deduplicate
The most efficient method for finding and removing duplicates is by using reference management software such as EndNote, Zotero, RefWorks or Mendeley. Visit our Referencing Guide for more information on using different reference management systems.
It is also possible to determine duplicates through an Excel spreadsheet. Using formulas in Excel, such as highlighting duplicates, can be a useful tool to speed up this process.
Using EndNote to remove duplicate records
1. Before you start
2. Export results from databases to EndNote
3. BACKUP! Before removing duplicates. Click File > Compressed Library (.enlx) and save file in your desktop or drive
4. Set up deduplication preferences in EndNote
5. Find Duplicates in EndNote
Stage 1 - Scan the list to check they are indeed duplicates (this is not a perfect system and needs some oversight) – same page number is a good indication. Drag all the highlighted duplicates to the trash folder. You will see your 'All reference' folder number go down and the 'trash' folder number go up.
Stage 2 – Adjust your deduplication preferences in EndNote to compare just author, volume, pages (see above). This is less precise but still allows allows EndNote to search for duplicates. Repeat stage 1 - Click on References > Find Duplicates > Cancel, then scan results moving duplicates to trash.
Stage 3 – The last stage is less exact and involves you scanning the remaining results without using the References > Find Duplicates function. Scan based on author, or title, or journal. Remove any duplicates to the trash.
6. After duplication complete
7. BACKUP EndNote Library AGAIN! You can never backup enough!
University of Calgary (2018) EndNote: Identify and Remove Internal Duplicates [YouTube] 6m42s
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