Methods and guidance on conducting, reporting, publishing and appraising living systematic reviews: a scoping review protocol Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Background: The living systematic review (LSR) approach is based on an ongoing surveillance of the literature and continual updating. A few guidance documents address the conduct, reporting, publishing and appraisal of systematic reviews (SRs), but the methodology described is either not up-to date or not suitable for LSRs and misses additional LSR-specific considerations. The objective of this scoping review is to systematically collate methodological literature and guidance on how to conduct, report, publish and appraise the quality of LSRs. The scoping review will allow the mapping of the existing evidence on the topic to support LSRs authors seeking guidance and identify related gaps.  Methods: To achieve our objectives, we will conduct a scoping review to survey and evaluate existing evidence, using the standard scoping review methodology. We will search MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane using the OVID interface. The search strategy was developed by a researcher experienced in developing literature search strategies with the help of an information specialist. As for searching grey literature, we will seek existing guidelines and handbooks on LSRs from organizations that conduct evidence syntheses using the website. Two review authors will extract and catalogue the study data on LSR methodological aspects into a standardized and pilot-tested data extraction form. The main categories will reflect proposed methods for (i) conducting LSRs, (ii) reporting of LSRs, (iii) publishing and (iv) appraising the quality of LSRs. Data synthesis and conclusion: By collecting these data from methodological surveys and papers, as well as existing guidance documents and handbooks on LSRs, we might identify specific issues and components lacking within current LSR methodology. Thus, the systematically obtained findings of the scoping review could be used as basis for the revision of existing methods tools on LSR, for instance a PRISMA statement extension for LSRs.


  • Iannizzi, Claire
  • Akl, Elie
  • Kahale, Lara A
  • Dorando, Elena
  • Mosunmola Aminat, Abina
  • Barker, James M
  • McKenzie, Joanne E
  • Haddaway, Neal R
  • Piechotta, Vanessa
  • Skoetz, Nicole

publication date

  • 2021