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Scoping Reviews: Data extraction
Library guide for the development of scoping reviews and their associated systematic searches, and required reporting.
For scoping reviews, data extraction is referred to as "charting the data". The aim is to create a descriptive summary of the results which addresses the scoping review's objectives, and ideally answers the questions of the review.
A draft charting table/form should have been developed with your protocol, but it is acceptable to refine this at the review stage.
"For ease of reference and tracking, it is suggested that reviewers keep careful records to identify each study. As reviewers chart each study, it may become apparent that additional unforeseen data can be usefully charted. Charting the results can therefore be an iterative process whereby the charting table is continually updated."
The information that you extract from the studies included in your scoping review will depend on the purpose of your review and your question.
Assessment of eligibility of studies, and extraction of data from study reports, should be done by at least two people, independently.
Data collection forms are invaluable. They should be designed carefully to target the objectives of the review, and should ideally be piloted by the review team on two or three articles to ensure that all required data is captured.
Tips are available for helping with the design and use of data collection forms.
Data may be reported in diverse formats.
What data should be collected for each included study?
Your protocol should include a plan for how you will present your results synthesis.
Your PCC inclusion criteria will assist you in choosing how the data should be mapped most appropriately, but you can refine this toward the end of the review, when you have a better picture of the sort of data available in your included studies.
The results of a scoping review may be presented in your final paper in a variety of ways, including:
tables and charts, featuring distribution of studies by year or period of publication, countries of origin, area of intervention (clinical, policy, educational, etc.) and research methods; and/or
in a descriptive format that aligns with the review objective/s and scope.
Note: If you present your data in a table/chart, also include a narrative summary to explain how the results relate to your review objectives and questions.