A scoping review is described by Grant & Booth (2009) as:
“A preliminary assessment of the potential size and scope of available research literature. It aims to identify the nature and extent of research evidence (usually including ongoing research)”.
Reference: Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health information & libraries journal, 26(2), 91-108.
Scoping reviews can be undertaking for various reasons such as understanding the volume of studies that have been conducted on an area of interest; or to review the types of studies that have been undertaken, to the specific characteristics of the research on a topic. The conclusion made from undertaking a scoping review will assist you in determining if there is any value in conducting further research in the form of a systematic review.
Undertaking a scoping review can also assist you in identifying if there are any gaps in the literature available, helping you plan and undertake future research in your area of interest.
When undertaking a scoping review, you are required to follow guidelines specifically set out to ensure the methods used are explicit, reproducible, and reduce the risk of bias throughout the review process.
You can expect your scoping review to take 3 to 6 months to complete.
Watch a short video on Scoping Reviews (2:20).