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Scoping Reviews

Scoping Reviews


"A scoping review or scoping study is a form of knowledge synthesis that addresses an exploratory research question aimed at mapping key concepts, types of evidence, and gaps in research related to a defined area or field by systematically searching, selecting, and synthesizing existing knowledge."

Colquhoun HL, Levac D, O'Brien KK, Straus S, Tricco AC, Perrier L, Kastner M, Moher D. Scoping reviews: time for clarity in definition, methods, and reporting. J Clin Epidemiol. 2014;67(12):1291-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.03.013. 



Journal Articles

UT Libraries Guide


Glossary Terms

What are scoping reviews?

Scoping reviews "are an ideal tool to determine the scope or coverage of a body of literature on a given topic and give clear indication of the volume of literature and studies available as well as an overview (broad or detailed) of its focus...They can report on the types of evidence that address and inform practice in the field and the way the research has been conducted." 1


1. Munn, Z., Peters, M.D.J., Stern, C. et al. Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC Med Res Methodol 18, 143 (2018).

Scoping Review Protocol

A protocol describes the rationale, hypothesis, and planned methods of a review. It should be prepared at the beginning and used as a guide to carry out the review.

Here are some protocol templates/guidance developed specifically for scoping reviews:

  • JBI Templates for Scoping Reviews
  • Lely J, Morris HC, Sasson N, Camarillo ND, Livinski AA, Butera G, Wickstron J. How to write a scoping review protocol: Guidance and template. OSF Registries. 2023, May 30.
  • Ghezzi-Kopel K, Porciello J. Evidence synthesis protocol template. OSF Registries. 2020, June 12. Updated 2021, August 5.

Despite PRISMA not having a scoping review protocol guide, many people use the PRISMA for Systematic Review Protocols as their guide for writing a scoping review protocol.

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