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Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis: Protocols, Guidelines, Resources & Tools

The aim of this guide is to facilitate collaboration between Cushing/Whitney Medical Librarians and Yale researchers on evidence synthesis projects, and to support project completion and publication

Why you should register your protocol

"Prospective registration of systematic reviews promotes transparency, helps reduce potential for bias and serves to avoid unintended duplication of reviews. Registration offers advantages to many stakeholders in return for modest additional effort from the researchers registering their reviews.” (Stewart L, Moher D, Shekelle P. Why prospective registration of systematic reviews makes sense.Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 9;1:7. doi: 10.1186/2046-4053-1-7. PMID: 22588008)

CWML Protocol Requirement

A completed protocol helps the librarian team member understand the scope of the review; it clarifies the research/clinical question, aids in the development of the concept table (identifying relevant concepts, definitions of key concepts, the logic underlying concept relationships). By examining the explicit inclusion/exclusion criteria, the librarian can make adjustments in the search strategy or make recommendations as to when the search strategy cannot accommodate concepts that are difficult to articulate in the research question.

Because these projects require a great deal of time on our part, we view the finished protocol as an indication of the team’s high degree of commitment to complete the review.

As of May 2018, we need to analyze the completed protocol before we begin our final searches.

Process Manuals and Guidelines