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Study Skills

Systematic Reviews: Protocol

Training and support

Guidance for creating your protocol can be found at PRISMA-P, or by working through the online training on protocols available at the Cochrane Library.

The Medical Library also runs a training course on writing a systematic review protocol.


a set of scrabble letters spelling out the word PLANImage credit: Wokandapix on Pixabay.

What is a protocol?

A protocol is a description of your proposed systematic review, including your proposed methods, the rationale for the review, and steps you will take to eliminate bias while conducting the review.

Registering your protocol stakes your claim on the research, and it also means that you have done a significant portion of the work before you formally begin the review, as you will have written your Methods section in draft form and planned what you will need to document and report by the time the protocol is finished.

Where to register your protocol

Most protocols are registered with PROSPERO, although it is also possible to upload your protocol on an institutional repository such as Apollo (at the University of Cambridge), or publish the protocol in a journal.

Contact us

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Medical Library Team
University of Cambridge Medical Library
Box 111
School of Clinical Medicine
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
01223 336750

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