What is the evidence-based justification (rationale) of your research project? It is advised that this section is written early in the project as it will form the basis of your introduction.
What is the research question that you will answer or the hypothesis that you will test?
Follow a clearly described protocol in performing and reporting the review. ThePRISMA-P checklistis a useful guide
What are your inclusion and exclusion criteria? Which search criteria and sources (databases, reviews, grey literature) will you use? What are the key references?
What are your search terms?
Keep a diary with dated entries of your progress and activities. It is particularly important that you note the date that you carry out searches of relevant research papers, and the number of hits per search terms.
How will you evaluate and report the quality of the papers to be included in the review?
What type of statistical analysis will you need to use (if required)? Do not leave analysis of data to the end of the project. Analyse your data as you collect it as this will help you with the progress of the project and the structure of the discussion.
How will you timetable your time? Doing a systematic review project can take longer than you think because it takes time to search databases and then read and analyse the research papers.