Scoping reviews: the PAGER framework for improving the quality of reporting

Caroline Bradbury-Jones, Helen Aveyard, Oliver Rudolf Herber, Louise Isham, Julie Taylor, Lisa O’malley

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Literature reviews generally analyse and synthesis the evidence (or lack thereof) in a particular topic area and they are an increasingly popular form of scholarly activity. The scoping review is a popular literature review approach that has been adopted across the social and health sciences over the last fifteen years. With this upsurge in use, differences of opinion about how to analyse and report scoping reviews has also grown. Drawing on work carrying out a scoping review on oral health and child maltreatment, we put forward a structured approach to analysis and reporting of such reviews: the PAGER (Patterns, Advances, Gaps, Evidence for practice and Research recommendations) framework. In this article, we reflect on the strengths and limitations of the framework, drawing on examples, laying out the methodological processes, and making suggestions as to how it might improve reporting. The article makes a contribution to efforts that seek to improve the reporting and utility of scoping reviews in health and social research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number00
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021


  • framework
  • literature review
  • reporting
  • scoping review
  • synthesis


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