Reviews of primary research are becoming more common as evidence-based practice gains recognition as the benchmark for care, and the number of, and access to, primary research sources has grown. One of the newer review types is the 'scoping review'. In general, scoping reviews are commonly used for 'reconnaissance' - to clarify working definitions and conceptual boundaries of a topic or field. Scoping reviews are therefore particularly useful when a body of literature has not yet been comprehensively reviewed, or exhibits a complex or heterogeneous nature not amenable to a more precise systematic review of the evidence. While scoping reviews may be conducted to determine the value and probable scope of a full systematic review, they may also be undertaken as exercises in and of themselves to summarize and disseminate research findings, to identify research gaps, and to make recommendations for the future research. This article briefly introduces the reader to scoping reviews, how they are different to systematic reviews, and why they might be conducted. The methodology and guidance for the conduct of systematic scoping reviews outlined below was developed by members of the Joanna Briggs Institute and members of five Joanna Briggs Collaborating Centres.