Reference Resources iconReview Protocols
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This protocol guides the What Works Clearinghouse’s (WWC) systematic reviews of evidence on behavioral interventions designed to improve outcomes of students in kindergarten to grade 12. The protocol is used in conjunction with version 4.1 of the WWC Standards and Procedures Handbooks and version 1.0 of the Study Review Protocol to inform systematic reviews for both practice guides and intervention reports.


Table of Contents

  • Purpose Statement (p. 1-2)
  • Literature Search (p. 2)
  • Screening of Research Using Eligibility and Relevance Criteria (pp. 2-5)
  • Synthesis and Dissemination of Findings (p. 5-6)
  • Appendix A. Search, Screening, and Prioritization of Research (pp. 7-9)
  • Appendix B. Search Terms Used in Literature Search (p. 10-12)
  • Appendix C. Databases Used in Literature Search (pp. 13)

Protocol Details

  • Version: 4.1
  • Released: October 2023

What is a Protocol?

A review protocol defines the scope of a systematic review. Developed with substantive experts, the protocol defines the parameters for the review, including the research, populations, settings, and outcomes. The protocol also specifies details of the literature search and any topic-specific applications of the design standards.

Protocol versions reflect the version of WWC standards in effect when the protocol was released. Protocol versions that predate the current version of the WWC standards handbook can be used to identify acceptable outcome domains for review within a given topic. The current WWC standards are used to guide the review of studies with acceptable outcomes.

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