Undertaking a Cochrane review of a complex public health topic is a considerable undertaking. A competent authorship team that includes people with content and systematic review methodology expertise and a thorough understanding of the primary research in the chosen topic area is crucial.
Things to think about when considering undertaking a Cochrane review, and the CPHG editorial process with timelines are outlined in this brief slide presentation here. You should also take particular note of the 'Editorial process' section of the CPHG's module on the Cochrane Library for our policies on progress of the review and timeline expectations.
If you are nearing completion of a Cochrane Review, the CPHG has developed guidance to help you consider how to engage with the media in communicating your review findings. Look under 'Resources to support knowledge translation and exchange' on our Knowledge Translation page.
Resources for assisting you in producing a Cochrane review:
The Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource brings together The Cochrane Collaboration’s editorial and publishing policies, as well as general information about the editorial and publishing processes, and the published products, including The Cochrane Library.
Cochrane Training online - this is a portal to a lot of useful information for those looking to undertake a Cochrane review.
The Cochrane Editorial Unit has now produced Methodological standards for the conduct of new Cochrane Intervention Reviews and Standards for the reporting of new Cochrane Intervention Reviews All Cochrane authors should be familiar with and follow these standards in developing their protocol, and conducting and writing up their review thereafter. These standards provide clarity in line with the Cochrane Handbook about expectations on how to conduct a new Cochrane Intervention Review and what should be documented in the protocol and review. Each standard is considered to be either mandatory (compliance required for publication) or highly desirable (expected but may be justifiably not done).
Good practice & common errors - a table overview of the most common errors and points of good practice identified from reviews that have been screened.
Incorporating GRADE in Cochrane Reviews - guidance with good practice examples developed in conjunction with members of the GRADE working group on how to bring GRADE methods and quality of evidence ratings into the text of Cochrane Reviews.
Considering Equity in your Cochrane review http://equity.cochrane.org/resources-review-authors
Additional resources for those wishing to conduct a systematic review with the Cochrane Public Health Group:
The editorial policies of the Cochrane Public Health Group can be found in our Group's module on the Cochrane Library (click here). Here you will find information about the 3 stages of review production (title registration, protocol publication and review publication). You will also find reference to the Role of the editors and the TSC and what support they offer authors during the review process.
Managing expectations: what does The Cochrane Collaboration expect of authors, and what can authors expect of The Cochrane Collaboration? Please click here to view the Collaboration's policy document on the expectations we have of our authors, and what the authors can expect from the CPHG.
The CPHG's Guide for Developing a Cochrane Protocol: This Guide is crucial for authors who have registered a title with the CPHG as it contains the guidance on the type of information you will need if you wish to publish a review with the Group. The protocol guide is regularly updated as new information arises. Please always check here to ensure that you are working from the most recent version.
The CPHG's Data Extraction and Assessment Template provides you with a starting point for the items to consider extracting from the studies included in your review.
Guidelines for Systematic Reviews of Health Promotion and Public Health Interventions Produced by an international taskforce and supplement to the Cochrane Reviewer's Handbook, the Guidelines highlight issues of relevance to doing reviews of effects of health promotion and public health interventions. They should not be used as a single resource for completing systematic reviews; they were produced to 'fill the gaps' for public health reviewers in the Cochrane Reviewer's Handbook. Some of the information has now been included as a special chapter in the Handbook.
Planning for dissemination of your review findings
CPHG have developed a Communications Plan to help your author team to start thinking about and planning your content and strategies for dissemination of review findings. It is important to think about dissemination early in the review process (at protocol stage) as there is information you may be able to collect during review production that will be crucial to implementing an effective and well-targeted dissemination/communications strategy, come review publication time.
Finding Low and Middle Income Countries Databases
A collaboration, led by the Norwegian Satellite of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group, has developed a list of databases, web sites and journals relevant to low and middle income countries.
This listing is now available on their web page: Databases Relevant to Low & Middle Income Countries (http://epocoslo.cochrane.org/en/newPage2.html)
Review Advisory Group guidance - guidelines to the role, development and management of advisory groups to inform the parameters of your Cochrane protocol.
Links to Cochrane resources
- The 'Top Tips for Authors using Archie and RevMan 5' document is now available on the Authors' IMS page at http://www.cc-ims.net/authors.
- Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions - the official guide to producing Cochrane reviews
- RevMan web page - documentation and support for software for preparing and maintaining Cochrane reviews
Other useful resources
- GRADEpro - (GRADEprofiler) is the software used to create Summary of Findings (SoF) tables in Cochrane systematic reviews (training webinar "GRADEing the evidence in systematic reviews")
- Cochrane Style Resource - ensure your Cochrane Review is consistent with the official style guide
- Using Individual Patient Data - Power Point slides
- Re-publishing of reviews - explanation of procedures and permission form if you wish to re-publish your review in another scientific journal
- Reporting Guidelines
CONSORT - reporting of RCTs
PRISMA (formerly QUOROM) [PDF document] - preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses
STROBE - reporting of observational studies in epidemiology
EQUATOR Network - collection of reporting guidelines
Training - face-to-face
Training - online
- Cochrane training online - this is a portal to a lot of useful information for those looking to undertake a Cochrane review. A series of interactive online learning modules (developed by the UK Cochrane Centre) and other resources are available on the Cochrane Training website. In addition, Cochrane Canada Live is a series of interactive webinars presented by the Canadian Cochrane Centre, covering many useful topics for Cochrane authors
Training resources provided by other organizations:
- Undertaking Systematic Reviews of Research on Effectiveness - an extensive guide by the NHS Centre for Reviews & Dissemination