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 CPH 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 CPH'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, CPH 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:
Good practice resources for new Cochrane authors - a summary of resources you should access
The Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource brings together Cochrane'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 expectations of Cochrane intervention reviews (MECIR) - standards for the conduct and reporting of new Cochrane Intervention Reviews, reporting of protocols and the planning. conduct and reporting of updates All Cochrane authors should be familiar with and follow these standards in developing their protocol, and conducting and writing up their review and update 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.
Quality assessment of the evidence
Select slides from Eva Rehfuess on Overiew of GRADE approach.
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.
An excellent webinar series for Using GRADE and the GRADEpro GDT online software in your Cochrane Review will be very useful to CPH authors (see in particular Presenting narrative outcomes in ‘Summary of findings’ table).
Also, an excellent guide for wording of the findings of your review, developed by Cochrane Consumers and Communication Group, is available here.
All Cochrane protocols and reviews must be compliant with standards outlined in the Cochrane Style Manual - if not, it will returned before copy editing can proceed.
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 Cochrane Public Health 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.
CPH's Guide for Developing a Cochrane Protocol: This Guide is crucial for authors who have registered a title with CPH 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.
CPH'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.
Review Advisory Group guidance - guidelines to the role, development and management of advisory groups to inform the parameters of your Cochrane protocol.
Managing expectations: what does Cochrane expect of authors, and what can authors expect of Cochrane?
Please click here to view the Cochrane's policy document on the expectations we have of our authors, and what the authors can expect from CPH.
Planning for dissemination of your review findings
CPH 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://epoc.cochrane.org/lmic-databases)
FindingLinks to Cochrane resources
- 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 Manual (updated 2016) - ensure your Cochrane Review is consistent with the official style guide Condensed, basic version here
- Co-publishing of reviews - explanation of agreements and requirements 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