"Unlike other reviews that tend to address relatively precise questions (such as a systematic review of the effectiveness of an intervention assessed using a predefined set of outcomes), scoping reviews can be used to map the key concepts that underpin a field of research, as well as to clarify working definitions, and/or the conceptual boundaries of a topic. A scoping review may address one of these aims or all of them. A scoping review of scoping reviews found that the three most common reasons for conducting a scoping review were to explore the breadth or extent of the literature, map and summarize the evidence, and inform future research."
Systematic and scoping reviews share similar characteristics, including:
That being said, scoping reviews differ from systematic reviews in key ways:
If you are in doubt about which type of review suits your research question, reach out to your liaison librarian.
Time estimates vary widely for the completion of a scoping review, but most estimates say that a scoping review takes 6-12 months to complete. Ultimately it will depend largely on the size of your team, the time available to put towards the project, the state of the current literature on your research topic, and your expertise with systematic searching. To get an estimate of how long your review might take, use the PredicTER tool linked below.