Reference Resources iconReview Protocols
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The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Study Review Protocol guides the reviews of studies by the WWC. This protocol is used in conjunction with the WWC Standards Handbook, Version 4.1 and the WWC Procedures Handbook, Version 4.1.

In addition, the Study Review Protocol supersedes the Review of Individual Studies Protocol, Version 4.0. The Study Review Protocol, therefore, guides the review of studies for grant competitions or studies funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Users interested in the Version 4.0 Review of Individual Studies Protocol, which is no longer in use, should visit

Protocol Details

  • Version: 1.0
  • Released: January 2021

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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