Review Authors

Review Authors

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 are outlined in this brief slide presentation here. In the first instance, please email the Managing editor (, to identify whether you proposed title is likely to be within the scope of CPH. A Review Proposal Form will be sent to you if the title appears within scope.

Please read the information Managing expectations: what does Cochrane expect of authors, and what can authors expect of Cochrane? before contacting CPH.

Resources for assisting you in producing a Cochrane review:
The NEW Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Intervention
- what you need to know about the changes

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. This include's Cochrane Rejection of Cochrane reviews policy.

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).

There is also a MECIR Standands for the reporting of Plain language summaries in new Cochrane Interventions reviews

Good practice & common errors – Training materials outlining the most common errors and points of good practice identified from review assessments.

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. A more digestible Cochrane Style Basics document provide a quick guide here

Considering Equity in your Cochrane review

Get to know the new Revman Web

Information on linking supplemental data and files outside of your Revman review file. 

Assessment of quality/certainty 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 How to GRADE outcomes and Describing Results, to incorporate GRADE assessments, has been developed by Cochrane Consumers and Communication Group.

Producing Summary of Findings Tables
Excellent resource produced by developed by Cochrane Consumers and Communication Group to help you develop SOF tables here

Additional resources for those wishing to conduct a systematic review with Cochrane Public Health :

The editorial timeline of a CPH review can be found here.  Here you will find information about the 3 stages of review production (title registration, protocol publication and review publication).  CPH has a CPH Rejection Policy which outlines the circumstances under which a protocol or review may be denied publication.  

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. 

Review Advisory Group guidance - guidelines to the role, development and management of advisory groups to inform the parameters of your Cochrane protocol.

“Narrative synthesis” of quantitative effect data in Cochrane reviews: current issues and ways forward - webinars here

SWiM (Synthesis Without Meta-Analysis) reporting guidelines… the link to the BMJ paper presenting the guidelines, along with a related commentary piece

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.  

For those wishing to create dissemination products related to their Cochrane review, Cochrane KT have produced a Dissemination Checklist to help inform the content.

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 (

Finding links to Cochrane resources

Training - face-to-face

Contact Cochrane Centres or Review Groups about local workshops and courses in review production. Some of these events are listed on the Cochrane workshops page.

Training - online

  • Cochrane training online - this is a portal to a lot of useful information for those looking to undertake a Cochrane review. In addition, Cochrane Canada Live is a series of interactive webinars presented by the Canadian Cochrane Centre, covering many useful topics for Cochrane authors