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HSLS Systematic Review Program

A Protocol is Required for HSLS SR Assistance

Why Does HSLS Require a Protocol?

  • The rigor and trustworthiness of a systematic review is based on the a priori planning and documentation provided by a protocol

  • Minimizes arbitrary or "on the fly" decision-making that might introduce bias into study selection or data extraction

  • Makes it easier and quicker to draft the final manuscript

  • Allows journal reviewers to assess the potential for selective reporting

PRISMA-P: Standards for a Well Designed Protocol

PRISMA for Systematic Review Protocols was published in 2015 to provide guidance on the development and reporting of protocols for systematic reviews

Preparing Your Protocol

Looking for Some Examples?

Examples of published protocols can be viewed in the BioMed Central journal Systematic Reviews (on the home page, enter "protocol" in the search box)

What About Prospero?

Prospero is an open access repository for registering an intention to conduct a systematic review with health-related outcomes. When a "protocol" or record is submitted for registration in Prospero, the content is checked to ensure it makes sense, but there is no formal scientific review or critical appraisal conducted. The content in Prospero records falls well short of the information required to meet PRISMA-P reporting standards.