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Systematic Review

Systematic Reviews are an increasingly important publication type for making informed health policy and patient care decisions. They are labor intensive, but synthesize and summarize existing information.

Protocol background and process

A protocol includes:

  • The topic/question, with background and significance.
  • Concepts in the question and terms/synonyms for the concept
  • Which sources to search in (databases, grey literature), time frame
  • The search you will use
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria used to determine what information is retained for analysis
  • Plans for critical appraisal of included articles.
  • Plans for analysis of data
  • Plans for dissemination

Prospero is an international protocol registry for systematic reviews. We recommend that you post your systematic review protocol with Prospero. The best place to begin is by reviewing examples at Prospero. 

PRISMA-P is a protocol planning document. See link below for a version to download and fill out.

Note: Currently (as of January 2021) Prospero is inundated. They are prioritizing COVID-19 research, UK-based research (funded by UK funds), and no longer wish to receive scoping review protocols. For those protocols waiting over 30 days, the unedited and only lightly reviewed protocols are published with notes to indicate which protocols are provisionally published.