Editorial process

Review proposal process 

For submission of a proposal, please fully complete the review proposal form and email it to us. Please ensure your review question is relevant and fits within our scope. We currently only accept proposals for intervention reviews.

We accept proposals based on editorial priorities, demonstration of the need for the proposed review, clarity of the proposal, feasibility based on the scope of the proposal and the team, and responsiveness to editorial feedback during the proposal period. Our acceptance rate for review proposals in 2016 was 27%.

We are prioritising reviews which have the potential to change clinical practice, are commissioned by guideline makers or aim to inform a clinical trial.

We assess proposals at the end of each month and aim to make a decision within four weeks. Should an external adviser be consulted, this adds two extra weeks. 

Protocol process

It is vital that you familiarise yourself with the essential resources for the conduct and reporting of a Cochrane systematic review before you start working on your protocol. 

We provide a template protocol to all authors which aims as a guide and support but can be amended, within Cochrane methodology and standards, to suit your review. 

A draft protocol must be submitted for editorial review within three months of the acceptance of the proposal. We expect submissions to comply with the standards in the essential resources and according to the timelines outlined. We operate a strict policy on protocols which fail to comply with these requirements

Review process

Once your protocol has been published, our Trials Search Co-ordinator will contact you to  arrange a suitable time to conduct the searches of the main databases. You will receive a de-duplicated set of search results within an agreed timeline. From the date of the search, you have six months to submit a draft review. 

We expect submissions to comply with the standards in the essential resources and according to the timelines outlined. We operate a strict policy on reviews which fail to comply with these requirements 

Update process

Updating a review is required when one or more of the below points are met:  

  • evidence of ongoing uncertainty and the potential that new evidence will change practice
  • new studies become available with sufficient power to change the conclusions of the review
  • update is commissioned by a guideline maker
  • there is a reason to incorporate new methods 

We may approach you to update your review if we become aware that any of the above to apply to your review. Alternatively, we welcome authors to propose an update by completing the update proposal form and the additional/new author form (if applicable). Until the editorial board has agreed for your update to go ahead, access via Archie is disabled. 

We expect submissions to comply with the standards in the essential resources and according to the timelines outlined. We operate a strict policy on updates which fail to comply with these requirements.