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 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 from Cochrane's Learning and Support Department.

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

Staying up to date

This module was last updated in December 2019. The next planned review date is Quarter 4, 2020.

We're pleased to hear your thoughts. If you have any questions, comments or feedback about the content of this module, please contact us.