Skip to Main Content

Systematic Reviews

Writing review protocols and reports

Reports of study methods and findings should be clear, thorough, transparent so that the individual is able to replicate the study, interpret the data, apply the results, and understand the study's strengths and weaknesses. (Foster 2017) Prevent selective reporting of outcomes, non reporting of studies, omission of study methodology, results and inadequate reporting of harms. Include structured abstracts, checklists, flow charts, explanation documents,

Guidelines for reporting the methods and results of clinical research can be obtained from Research Reporting guidelines and Intiatives - lists the major biomedical research reporting guidelines that provide advice for reporting research methods and findings

High-quality systematic review  reports should accurately document all of the steps and judgments in the Systematic Review process using clear language that is understandable to users and stakeholders. A report should provide enough detail that a knowledgeable reader could reproduce the Systematic Review.  The report includes Author contributions, eligibility criteria, search strategy, information sources, study selection, strengths and of protocol.

Guidance for conducting and reporting systematic review : Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews. read the book online.


  1. Equator  - The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network is an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting and wider use of robust reporting guidelines. It provides free resources and tool kits for users of reporting guidelines.
  2. Nlmrrc - National Library of Medicine's Research Reporting guidelines and Initiatives. lists major biomedical research reporting guidelines.
  3. Plos  - A collection of open access reporting guidelines as well as discussion of the importance of guidelines  and evidence supporting their use.
  4. Prisma - useful for a guide for writing a protocol and guide for abstracts of systematic reviews
  5. JBI The Joanna Briggs Institute  - critical appraisal tools. Supports design and conduct of research synthesis and dissemination

Links checked 19/06/2019