Introduction The global burden of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is steadily increasing. Experimental studies have demonstrated that a novel hormone secreted by bone cells, osteocalcin (OC), can stimulate beta-cell proliferation and improve insulin sensitivity in mice. Observational studies in humans have investigated the relationship between OC and metabolic parameters, and T2DM. Importantly, few studies have reported on the undercarboxylated form of OC (ucOC), which is the putative active form of OC suggested to affect glucose metabolism. Objectives We will conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to: (1) compare the levels of serum OC and ucOC between T2DM and normal glucose-tolerant controls (NGC); (2) investigate the risk ratios between serum OC and ucOC, and T2DM; (3) determine the correlation coefficient between OC and ucOC and fasting insulin levels, homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance, haemoglobin A1c and fasting glucose levels and (4) explore potential sources of between-study heterogeneity. The secondary objective is to compare the serum OC and ucOC between pre-diabetes (PD) and NGC and between T2DM and PD. hods and analysis This study will report items in line with the guidelines outlined in preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology. We will include observational studies (cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies) and intervention studies with baseline data. Three databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE and SCOPUS) will be searched from inception until July 2018 without language restrictions. Two reviewers will independently screen the titles and abstracts and conduct a full-text assessment to identify eligible studies. Discrepancies will be resolved by consensus with a third reviewer. The risk of bias assessment will be conducted by two reviewers independently based on the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Potential sources of between-study heterogeneity will be tested using meta-regression/subgroup analyses. Contour-enhanced funnel plots and Egger's test will be used to identify potential publication bias. Ethics and dissemination Formal ethical approval is not required. We will disseminate the results to a peer-reviewed publication and conference presentation. PROSPERO registration number CRD42017073127.