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Scoping Reviews

This guide lists resources related to conducting a Scoping Review.

Review your results

Review your results for relevancy by considering how well each paper matches:

  • your review objective(s) and research question(s)
  • your scoping review protocol
  • your keywords

You can also use your 'must have' articles to evaluate your search strategies. In your preliminary search, you likely identified some key articles that you would like to include as part of your review.  Are these articles appearing in your search results? If not, why not?  Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • are these articles in journals that are indexed in the databases that you are searching? 
  • do we have access to these journals through the Library? Check the Journals A-Z tab on the main Library home page if you're not sure.
  • would these articles be picked up if you were to search in other library databases? If so, in which ones?

This method can help you to identify additional keywords and subject headings for your search and will allow you to evaluate your search for comprehensiveness.

Check your search strategy

When reviewing your search strategy, make sure that you check for the following:

  1. That there are no spelling mistakes/typos/syntax errors
  2. That you have been comprehensive with your search terms - are you missing any keywords and therefore articles?
  3. That you have included subject headings for your search concepts, if available
  4. That your subject headings match your keywords
  5. That you have appropriately used Boolean operators (AND, OR).

 The PRESS Guideline (linked below) provides a set of recommendations that is used by librarians and other information specialists when they are asked to evaluate search strategies for reviews. Consider having another member of your team or a colleague review your search strategies for any errors - it never hurts to have a second set of eyes.

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