Deterrents to viewing indecent images of children online: A protocol for a meta-narrative review

Emily Newman, Ethel Quayle, Laura Cariola, Karen Cooper, Nikolaos Koukopoulos, Klaus Beier, Tom Squire, Richard Wortley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Evidence indicates that the viewing of indecent images of children (IIOC) has increased due to the emergence of, and increased access to, the Internet. Over the last 20 years there has been a high level of collaboration between various stakeholders to prevent and restrict access to IIOC. Nevertheless, there is no comprehensive review of these approaches or their effect as deterrents to viewing IIOC.

Methods/Design: This paper presents a protocol for a meta-narrative review of the deterrents to viewing indecent images of children (IIOC) online. The meta narrative review methodology allows researchers to systematically identify and review different understandings, or narratives, of a subject across a range of disciplines, with the aim of synthesising this diverse literature and providing recommendations to researchers,practitioners and policymakers. We outline the authors’ approach to the review, focusing on six methodological steps: planning the review scope, questions and outputs, systematic searching of academic and grey literature, mapping the identified articles according to disciplines and their narratives, appraising the evidence within narratives, then synthesising the conceptualisations and evidence from the different disciplines to generate overarching narratives and recommendations to stakeholders.

Discussion: The discussion considers the anticipated benefits and challenges of conducting the review, and makes recommendations for other researchers embarking on this type of review.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalSocial Science Protocols
Early online date8 Sep 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sep 2018


  • indecent images of children
  • child pornography
  • internet
  • deterrence
  • meta-narrative review


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