Good practice resources for new Cochrane authors

Description

While working on your Cochrane Protocol and Cochrane Reviews you may find it helpful to use or consult some good practice resources. Below you can find brief descriptions and links to the key resources, including reference sources and standards, software and other tools, as well as general resources related to Cochrane.

A PDF with the same descriptions and links is available for download at the bottom of this page.

Reference sources and standards

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

The Cochrane Handbook is the official document that describes the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane Reviews, and you should refer to it at all stages of the review process. The Cochrane Handbook is available in the following formats:

  • Online: http://handbook-5-1.cochrane.org (free access).
  • Online: link to PDFs of handbook chapters is available at http://training.cochrane.org/handbook (free, but needs login with Cochrane Account). Note that at the moment only PDF versions contain latest (minor) edits to improve clarity, some limited new material and updating, so using PDFs is advisable.
  • Review Manager: access from the Help menu (free access).

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA)

The Cochrane DTA Handbook is the reference resource for authors of diagnostic test accuracy reviews. The Handbook is planned to have 11 chapters, out of which six are already completed and available for download here: http://dta.cochrane.org/handbook-dta-reviews.

GRADE Handbook

The GRADE Handbook describes the process of rating the certainty of the evidence in Cochrane Reviews. This is the most comprehensive resource on the GRADE approach and deals with both the use of GRADE in systematic reviews and its application in the guideline development process. The GRADE Handbook can be found here: http://gdt.guidelinedevelopment.org/central_prod/_design/client/handbook/handbook.html

Cochrane standards

Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) are a set of standards for the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Intervention Reviews. Authors are expected to comply with these standards. The conduct standards may be most useful while planning your protocol, and the reporting standards while writing your completed Review.  The complete conduct and reporting standards can be found here: http://methods.cochrane.org/mecir.  

Guidance and reports from Cochrane Editorial Unit’s quality assurance programme provide additional advice on how to improve the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Reviews.

Cochrane Style Guide Basics and the Cochrane Style Manual

The Cochrane Style Manual is designed to help review authors and people responsible for copy-editing to use a consistent style when copy-editing Cochrane Reviews. This document can also be found on the Help menu in RevMan 5. A two-page summary of essential items, the Style Guide basics, is also available.

Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource

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.

Software and other tools

Archie

Archie is Cochrane’s online information management system, where published and draft versions of all Cochrane Reviews are stored along with contact details of our contributors. Each user can access Archie using a unique user name and password at https://archie.cochrane.org. Having a Cochrane Account will enable you to access your draft review and work on it in Review Manager, which is the software used for preparing Cochrane Reviews. The latest version of Review Manager can be freely downloaded from http://tech.cochrane.org/revman/download.

The Quickstart for Authors document gives a brief overview of how to manage contact details and use Archie in conjunction with Review Manager (RevMan) 5 to prepare a Cochrane Review. The Top Tips for Authors Top using RevMan 5 and Archie is a more detailed document which is essential reading for all authors.

Covidence

Covidence (www.covidence.org) is an online systematic review production platform which is recommended by Cochrane. The tool includes title/abstract screening, full text review, risk of bias assessment, and data extraction. Registered Cochrane Reviews are free of charge in Covidence. The support team holds regular author walk-through webinars (recording of a session available at http://training.cochrane.org/resource/covidence-CLL-webinar) and author support for the tool is provided via the Covidence team. All queries and issues with Covidence should be directed to Covidence Support (support@covidence.org).

GRADEprofiler GDT (GRADEpro GDT)

GRADEpro GDT (www.guidelinedevelopment.org) is used to create 'Summary of findings' tables in Cochrane Reviews. You can import data from RevMan, perform calculations to present the key findings of your review, and conduct a GRADE assessment of the quality of the evidence. Demonstration videos, a user guide and the GRADE Handbook are available once you have created an account on the GRADEpro GDT website. GRADEpro GDT is free for all users.

EPPI-Reviewer

EPPI-Reviewer (http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/er4) is an alternative tool for authoring systematic reviews that is endorsed for Cochrane authors. This tool is especially appropriate for complex systematic reviews, and has advanced features for screening, data collection, qualitative and quantitative analysis, text mining for study identification and automatic text translation. Instructional videos, manuals and a user forum are available on the EPPI-Reviewer website.

General resources

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Cochrane Library

Cochrane Protocols and Cochrane Reviews are published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), which is one of the databases in the Cochrane Library.

Cochrane Training

Cochrane runs training workshops for authors in many locations internationally, and also provides extensive online learning material at http://training.cochrane.org. We would recommend that you attend a workshop if available, or access the introductory learning pathway at http://training.cochrane.org/path/introduction-systematic-reviews-pathway. Details of upcoming workshops can be found at www.cochrane.org/training, or you can contact your regional Cochrane Centre or Branch, see http://www.cochrane.org/contact/centres.

Cochrane news

The latest news from Cochrane is available via our website at https://community.cochrane.org/news, where you will find further resources, information about coming events, blogs and more. Cochrane Connect is Cochrane’s official international newsletter. Each month it highlights the latest Cochrane impact, training, events, and news. You can subscribe to receive the Cochrane Connect and access its archive at https://community.cochrane.org/news/newsletters. Contact authors of Cochrane Reviews are also subscribed to Cochrane Community, a monthly newsletter that brings the Cochrane community up-to-date information on projects and initiatives, news from the Cochrane Governing Board and the Central Executive team as well as from Centres, Review Groups, Fields, and all other Cochrane groups.