Numbat Systematic Review Manager


The source code for Numbat is available on Github.

Numbat is free software first developed by PhD student Benjamin Carlisle in 2014 for use by the STREAM research group1 in the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University to facilitate systematic review work for the Animals, Humans and the Continuity of Evidence grant as well as the Signals, Safety and Success grant. This work was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP 119574), and it is released as free and open-source under the GNU AGPL v 3.

It is named after the numbat, because numbats feed on termites by extracting them from their hiding places with very long and flexible tongues.

Purpose and limitations

What Numbat does

Numbat is a piece of software designed for managing the extraction of large volumes of data from primary sources among multiple users, and then reconciling the differences between them. It is designed for use in systematic review projects in an academic context.

The following are the intended uses of Numbat.

What Numbat doesn’t do

Values for the Numbat project

Why not just use a Google Form?

Installation requirements

You may be able to install Numbat on setups different from what is described below, but the following is what it was designed for.

Copy the entire file to your web server, and navigate to the Numbat directory with your browser. You will need to know your MySQL server, username and password to complete the installation.

What’s new in 2.12

To migrate from an earlier version of Numbat, run db-migrations.php while logged in as an administrator.

How to cite Numbat

Here is a BibTeX entry for Numbat:

  Title          = {Numbat {S}ystematic {R}eview {M}anager},
  Author         = {Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory},
  Organization   = {The Grey Literature},
  Address        = {Berlin, Germany},
  url            = {},
  year           = 2014

You may also cite this resource as: (Numbat, RRID:SCR_019207).

If you use my software to complete a systematic review and you found it useful, I would take it as a kindness if you cited it.


Benjamin Gregory Carlisle PhD