Cochrane Interactive Learning

Module 2: Writing the review protocol

About this module

Part of the Cochrane Interactive Learning course on Conducting an Intervention Review, this module explains why a review protocol is a crucial step in planning and delivering a systematic review. This module teaches you about the components of a protocol, and how to define eligibility criteria using the PICO format.

Duration45-60 minutes

What you can expect to learn (learning outcomes)

This module will teach you to:

  • Recognize the importance of Cochrane Protocols
  • Identify the eligibility criteria for studies to be included in a Cochrane Review
  • Identify the information that should be included in the background of a Cochrane Review
  • Recognize the key components of a well-written objective
  • Recognize the structure of a protocol

Authors, contributors, and how to cite this module

Module 2 has been written and compiled by Dario Sambunjak, Miranda Cumpston and Chris Watts, Cochrane Central Executive Team.

A full list of acknowledgements, including our expert advisors from across Cochrane, is available at the end of each module page.

This module should be cited as: Sambunjak D, Cumpston M, Watts C. Module 2: Writing the review protocol. In: Cochrane Interactive Learning: Conducting an intervention review. Cochrane, 2017. Available from

Update and feedback

The module was last updated on September 2022.

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