The framework originally proposed by Arksey and O’Malley (2005) has been influential in the conduct of scoping reviews. Their framework has been further enhanced by the work of Levac and colleagues (2010) (see Table 11.2). Levac and colleagues (2010) provide more explicit detail regarding what occurs at each stage of the review process and this enhancement increases both the clarity and rigor of the review process. Both of these frameworks have underpinned the development of the JBI approach to the conduct of scoping reviews (Peters et al. 2015).

Table 11.2: Scoping review frameworks

Arksey and O’Malley framework

(2005, p. 22-23)

Enhancements proposed by Levac et al. (2010, p. 4-8)

*Enhancements proposed by Peters et al (2015, 2017, 2020).


Identifying the research question

Clarifying and  linking the  purpose  and research question

Defining and aligning the objective/s and question/s


Identifying relevant studies

Balancing feasibility with breadth and comprehensiveness of  the  scoping process

Developing and aligning the inclusion criteria with the objective/s and question/s


Study selection

Using  an  iterative  team  approach  to selecting studies and extracting data

Describing the planned approach to evidence searching, selection, data extraction, and presentation of the evidence.


Charting the data

Incorporating a numerical summary and qualitative thematic analysis

Searching for the evidence


Collating, summarizing and reporting the results

Identifying the implications of the study findings for policy, practice or research

Selecting the evidence


Consultation (optional)

Adopting consultation as a required component of scoping study methodology

Extracting the evidence


 Analysis  of the evidence


Presentation of the results


Summarizing the evidence in relation to the  purpose of the review, making conclusions and noting any implications of the findings

*Consultation of information scientists, stakeholders and/or experts throughout, including in the topic prioritization, planning, execution and dissemination

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