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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Systematic & Scoping Reviews : Methodology Behind the Search Strategies

This guide is primarily for students and other researchers conducting systematic reviews and scoping reviews for coursework, thesis/dissertation requirements, or for other research purposes.

Where can I find reviews or protocols?

A. Why look for protocols or reviews?

  • this is a basic first step when conducting any review
  • determine if your research topic has been undertaken or is in the process of being conducted


B. Protocols of systematic reviews can be found:


  • international prospective register of systematic reviews
  • can register or search for a protocol
  • contains protocols of systematic reviews relevant to health and social care, welfare, public health, education, crime, justice, and international development, where there is a health related outcome.


C. Protocols and systematic/scoping reviews can be found:

1. Cochrane Library: link to Cochrane library

  • contains Cochrane systematic reviews as well as protocols (does not contain scoping reviews)
  • look for the "protocol"  or "review" indication 

Protocol indication in results from Cochrane Library

Review indication in results from Cochrane Library Database


2. Campbell Library

  • contains protocols and systematic reviews of interventions in social and behavioral sciences, education, crime and justice, social welfare and international development.


3. JBI (Joanna Briggs Institute) EBP Database: link to JBI Library

  • contains protocols, systematic reviews, and scoping reviews on nursing research, translational science, synthesis science, implementation science, software for health professionals, promoting evidence-based practice


4. Journal article databases.

For a quick search, look for "protocol," "scoping review" or "systematic review in the title