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The role of scoping reviews in reducing research waste.

Khalil, Hanan; Peters, Micah D.J.; McInerney, Patricia A.; Godfrey, Christina M.; Alexander, Lyndsay; Evans, Catrin; Pieper, Dawid; Moraes, Erica B.; Tricco, Andrea C.; Munn, Zachary; Pollock, Danielle


Hanan Khalil

Micah D.J. Peters

Patricia A. McInerney

Christina M. Godfrey

Catrin Evans

Dawid Pieper

Erica B. Moraes

Andrea C. Tricco

Zachary Munn

Danielle Pollock


Scoping reviews and evidence map methodologies are increasingly being used by researchers. The objective of this article is to examine how scoping reviews can reduce research waste. This article summarizes the key issues facing the research community regarding research waste and how scoping reviews can make an important contribution to the reduction of research waste in both primary and secondary research. The problem of research waste is an enduring challenge for global health, leading to a waste of human and financial resources and producing research outputs that do not provide answers to the most pressing research questions. Research waste occurs within primary research but also in secondary research such as evidence syntheses. The focus of scoping reviews on characterizing the nature of existing evidence on a topic and including all types of evidence, potentially reduces research waste in five ways: (1) identifying key research gaps on a topic, (2) determining appropriate outcome measures, (3) mapping existing methodological approaches, (4) developing a consistent understanding of terms and concepts used in existing evidence, and (5) ensuring scoping reviews do not exacerbate the issue of research waste. To ensure that scoping reviews do not themselves end up contributing to research waste, it is important to register the scoping review and to ensure that international reporting standards and methodological guidance are followed.


KHALIL, H., PETERS, M.D.J., MCINERNEY, P.A., GODFREY, C.M., ALEXANDER, L., EVANS, C., PIEPER, D., MORAES, E.B., TRICCO, A.C. MUNN, Z. and POLLOCK, D. 2022. The role of scoping reviews in reducing research waste. Journal of clinical epidemiology [online], 152, pages 30-35. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 21, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 27, 2022
Publication Date Dec 31, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 28, 2023
Journal Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
Print ISSN 0895-4356
Electronic ISSN 1878-5921
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 152
Pages 30-35
Keywords Scoping reivews; Research waste; Quality; Methodology; Reporting
Public URL


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