Western Libraries

Knowledge Synthesis: Systematic & Scoping Reviews

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

  • Chapter 5 of the Cochrane Handbook discusses inclusion and exclusion criteria for systematic reviews.
  • The PRISMA Statement notes that you should document the total number of studies you reviewed, including those you excluded from your systematic review.

There are two kinds of screening:

  1. Practical screens identify potentially useful studies
  2. Methodological screens identify best available studies

Practical screening - some examples

  1. Date of publication - only studies conducted between 2005 and 2010
  2. Participants or subjects - only children 6 to 12 years of age
  3. Publication language - only materials written in English or French
  4. Research design - only clinical trials


Methodological screening - worksheet


Screening Tools Comparison Chart