A protocol is a plan or set of steps to which a study will adhere. A protocol for a systematic review should describe:
The rationale for the review
The objectives of the review
The methods that will be used to locate, select, and critically appraise studies
The methods that will be used to analyze data from the included studies
Development of a protocol is necessary because it promotes transparency, helps reduce the potential for bias, and serves to avoid unintended duplication of reviews.
Consult Cochrane Interactive LearningModule 2: Writing the Review Protocolfor further information. *Please note you will need to register for a Cochrane account while initially on the Mayo network. You'll receive an email message containing a link to create a password and activate your account.*