Inclusion criteria

PROSPERO includes details of any ongoing systematic review of studies in humans or animals that has a health related outcome relevant to human health in the broadest sense. Reviews of clinical studies may be of interventions, service delivery, prognostic factors, risk factors, genetic associations, and epidemiological reviews relevant to health and social care, welfare, public health, education, crime, justice, and international development, as long as there is a health related outcome. Reviews of animal studies may be of animal models for human disease, interventions, exposures, diagnosis, prognostic factors, risk factors and genetic associations, as long as the review question is directly relevant to human health. Systematic review protocols registered on PROSPERO can include studies of any design.

Reviews of methodological issues need to contain at least one outcome of direct patient or clinical relevance in order to be included in PROSPERO. The review may also contain a substantial component of methodological review, but this latter component alone is not sufficient for inclusion. For example: a comparison of tools for the diagnosis of a condition may look at how these are reported but as long as an element of assessment of the value of the tools was included and a clinician could use the results to choose the appropriate tool in a given circumstance, it would be included in PROSPERO. Simply looking at the reporting of and/or use of outcomes in research would not be included.

Systematic reviews of reviews will be accepted for registration as long as they meet all the standard PROSPERO eligibility criteria and the registration form includes complete systematic review methodology details.

Ideally reviews should be registered before screening against eligibility criteria commences. However, reviews are currently accepted for registration as long as they have not progressed beyond the completion of data extraction.

Scoping reviews and literature reviews are not eligible for inclusion in PROSPERO.

New Cochrane protocols are automatically uploaded. To avoid duplication of records, Cochrane protocols should not be registered separately with PROSPERO.

Submissions must be in English for practical reasons, but search strategies and protocols attached to a record may be in any language.

If you are in any doubt about the eligibility of your review, including the stage of progress please contact for advice.