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21 March 2003


Review Manager (RevMan) is the Cochrane Collaboration's software for preparing and maintaining Cochrane reviews. RevMan 4.2 is bundled with RevMan Analyses, which performs statistical analysis of the data entered into RevMan. RevMan 4.2 is a non-mandatory update to RevMan 4.1. RevMan is distributed as copyrighted freeware, and may as such be used and copied free of any charge as long as no changes are made to the contents of the distributed package. No charges must be collected for distributing RevMan.


It is recommended that all people working on a review switch to RevMan 4.2 at the same time. Files can be moved between RevMan 4.1 and RevMan 4.2 without any conversion but additional figures or outcomes using the generic inverse variance data type will not be visible in RevMan 4.1. The data are preserved, however, and will reappear if the review is imported back into RevMan 4.2. Bold, italics, underline, subscript, superscript, symbols and text marker will be visible on screen in RevMan 4.1 but not on print (will print as plain text).


  • Images
    • Image files can be added to reviews as 'additional figures'
  • Text of review
    • Bold, italics, underline, subscript and superscript can be used in the main text of review
    • More symbols (e.g. Greek letters) can be used
    • It is possible to print a highlighted section only
    • Text marker can be used to highlight changes (the highlighting is not published)
    • RTF files can be imported
    • Delete and backspace can be used to delete a marked block of text that contains links
    • A new medical dictionary for spell checking that allows both UK and US spelling is included
  • Studies and references
    • Studies and references can be copied to other reviews
    • Tab key can be used in reference windows to change field
    • Classification pending references can be moved to studies in blocks
    • Studies can be imported with attached references, e.g. from Meerkat
    • References can be imported to an existing study or directly into 'Additional references' or 'Other versions'
    • A pick list can be used for recurring journal names
    • The required fields are highlighted in references
    • Exporting of references can be restricted to specified sections
    • Citations can be copied to clipboard
  • Tables
    • Improved printing of additional tables, 'other data' tables and comparisons and data table
    • Rows and columns can be inserted and deleted in additional tables
    • Spell checking of entire tables (rather than cell by cell)
    • Split bar in characteristics of ... studies tables
    • Single study view for characteristics of included studies
    • Additional tables can be copied to other reviews
    • The screen font for tables can be adjusted
  • Data and analyses
    • Comparisons, outcomes and data can be copied to other reviews
    • Studies can be removed from a data table using the right click menu (rather than using the tree view)
    • Generic inverse variance method has been added
    • I statistic added to the test for heterogeneity
    • New RevMan Analyses program (replaces MetaView)
    • Multiple graphs can be printed on the same page
    • Analysis graphs can be printed from RevMan
    • Sets of multiple graphs can be exported in bitmap or vector formats
    • Graphs can be copied to the clipboard
    • Graphs can be saved as RTF files
    • Funnel plots can be inserted into reviews as additional figures
  • Contact details
    • Highlighting of differences when importing contact details for a person already in RevMan
    • Improved functionality for importing contact details from HIREx
    • A complete list of contact details can be printed
    • Contact details can be exported
    • Contact IDs can be changed easily
  • Other
    • Improved functionality for importing/exporting reviews
    • Use Ctrl + click to select/deselect reviews
    • Review checking now follows the same rules as in the Module Manager (ModMan) software used by Collaborative Review Groups
    • New status window displays numbers of reviews, protocols, titles, etc.
    • Automatic backup keeps up to three backup files
    • The database can be closed temporarily to allow ModMan to access it (by pressing F8)
    • The 'list of reviewers for citation' can be generated automatically
    • The list of amended sections is updated automatically
    • The title of the tree view window can be changed to distinguish between different copies of RevMan
    • RevMan exercise is included


  • Any IBM compatible PC running Windows 95 OSR 2 (or higher) or Windows NT 4 (or higher)
  • 20 MB free harddisk space
  • Mouse

Minimum recommended system

  • Pentium 200 MHz processor
  • 32 MB RAM
  • Screen resolution 800x600 pixels

The speed of RevMan is in some places proportional to the number of reviews held in RevMan. For Review Group Co-ordinators or other people working with many reviews, the minimum recommended system is:

  • Pentium II 400 MHz
  • 128 MB RAM
  • Screen resolution 1024x768

If RevMan or the database is installed on a shared network drive, a 100 Mbit or faster network connection is highly recommended.


  • Download revman42.exe to a directory on your hard disk (
  • Close all open programs
  • Run revman42.exe using Windows Explorer or the Run option in the Start menu
  • Follow the instructions on screen and choose where to install RevMan. If you choose a directory where RevMan 4.1 is installed, it will be upgraded to RevMan 4.2 with all data preserved.
  • When the installation is complete, you can run RevMan 4.2 by clicking on the icon in the start menu or on your desktop. If you have upgraded from RevMan 4.1 you should delete any old RevMan 4.1 icons from your desktop.

Note: It may be necessary to have administrator access rights to install the program. Some systems protect the 'c:\program files' directory and its subdirectories from being modified by the standard user. On such systems RevMan can either be installed in another directory or the administrator can set up full access to RevMan's data directory.


  • Export any reviews you wish to keep
  • Open the Windows Control Panel and double-click on Add/Remove Programs
  • Highlight Review Manager 4.2 beta in the list and click on Add/Remove
  • Follow the instructions on screen

Note: do not use this procedure if you have more than one RevMan installed - just delete the RevMan directory instead.


Configuration files for ProCite, RefMan and EndNote to import/export references are installed in the 'Reference management' directory. See the readme.txt file in this directory for more information.


For news about bugs and updates:

  • Check the RevMan web pages at
  • Join the RevMan discussion list at See also Appendix G of the User Guide


Support is only given to members of registered Cochrane Review Groups.

Before seeking help, please consider that there are several places you may be able to find the answer, including:

  • The Help file
  • The User Guide
  • The Handbook
  • The Cochrane Style Guide
  • The FAQ
  • Archives of the RevMan discussion list, see

If your question is not answered here, several options exist:

  • For general questions about how to use the program or write reviews, contact the Co-ordinator in your review group
  • For questions about RevMan of general concern, write to the RevMan discussion list at (see Appendix G of the User Guide)
  • For specific problems of a technical nature, write directly to the RevMan Development Team at or use the problem reporting form at (preferred, since it helps to ensure that all the relevant information is included)


  • No warranties. This software is provided on an "as is" basis without warranties of any kind. The Nordic Cochrane Centre does not warrant that the software is error free or free from all viruses. The Nordic Cochrane Centre disclaims all warranties with respect to the software, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement of third party rights.
  • No liability for consequential damages. In no event shall The Nordic Cochrane Centre be liable for consequential, incidental or indirect damages of any kind arising out of the delivery, performance or use of the software, even if The Nordic Cochrane Centre has been advised of the possibility of such damages. The user of this product is entirely responsible for any damage or data loss caused by this product.
Created by admin
Last modified 09:12, 08 July 2005
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