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Literature Reviews (Health Sciences)

Register Your Protocol

Authors should write and register a protocol outlining the review methodology.

Registering a protocol:

  • helps avoid duplication of similar reviews
  • ensures transparency and reproducibility
  • decreases the chance of reporting bias by enabling comparison of the registered protocol to the completed review
  • increases the likelihood that a systematic review will be successfully completed

According to Cochrane,

"a protocol outlines the question that the review authors are addressing, detailing the criteria against which studies will be assessed for inclusion in the review, and describing how the authors will manage the review process. Protocols contain information that defines the health problem and the intervention under investigation, how benefits and harms will be measured, and the type of appropriate study design. The protocol also outlines the process for identifying, assessing, and summarizing studies in the review. By making this information available the protocol is a public record of how the review authors intend to answer their research question."

Register Your Protocol

If you are developing a systematic review, you should register with PROSPERO. You should first search to see if a systematic review on your topic is already in process. 



If you are developing a scoping review, you should register with Open Science Framework. In order to be eligible for this form, you need to first have received "in principle acceptance" (IPA) from a journal after Stage 1 Peer Review, and before you have begun your study. To learn more, read "Submit a Registered Report".