PROSPERO Protocols: Wait Time from Submission to Completed Registration

Other Titles


Objectives: The U.K.’s PROSPERO is the main international registry of systematic review (SR) protocols. Due to increased submissions, protocols from the U.K. are prioritized, as PROSPERO is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, resulting in international submissions experiencing processing delays. This study aims to determine the wait-time SR teams outside the U.K. have experienced when submitting protocols to PROSPERO.

Methods: A 7-question survey was sent to information professionals via the following group listervs: AAHSL; ACRL Systematic Reviews & Related Methods Interest Group; MEDLIB-L; MLA NY/NJ Chapter; MLA Systematic Review Caucus. Survey responses were captured electronically using Qualtrics. Participants were asked: if they were located outside the U.K.; if they have registered a protocol to PROSPERO in the last 2 years; and how much time this took, including any resubmissions. Participants were then asked if this wait time was a deterrent from registering again, and if they would submit a protocol to a repository other than PROSPERO.

Results: 54 responses were received, of which 34 were outside the U.K. and had submitted a protocol to PROSPERO in the past 2 years. Wait times were varied, with 33.3% still under review. Of those that completed registration “over 6 months” wait time was the most common response (23.3%), followed by “3-4 months” (20%). Resubmissions accounted for 9 votes – 6 resubmitting once, 3 more than once. Those resubmissions took an average 1-4 months additional time to registration. 33.3% of respondents said that the wait time they experienced would be a deterrent from submitting to PROSPERO again; 66.7% said it would not. However, 70% of respondents said they would submit a protocol to a repository other than PRSOPERO. For the free text answer of alternative repositories to submit, Open Science Framework was the most common reply.

Conclusions: Our results are limited by the small number of valid responses to the survey. However, with the majority of respondents experiencing a wait time of 3 to over 6 months to complete registration, it may be useful to consider alternate options for protocol registration, such as Open Science Framework.

Journal / Series

Volume & Issue



Date Issued




Systematic Reviews; PROSPERO; meta-analysis; protocol


Effective Date

Expiration Date




Union Local


Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Degree Discipline

Degree Name

Degree Level

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)


Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document




Other Identifiers


Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International


conference papers and proceedings

Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record