- Access the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions
- About the Handbook
- Methodological Expectations for Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR)
- Contact the Editors
- How to cite the Handbook
- Permission to re-use material from the Handbook
- Previous versions
The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions is the official guide that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews on the effects of healthcare interventions. All authors should consult the Handbook for guidance on the methods used in Cochrane systematic reviews. The Handbook includes guidance on the standard methods applicable to every review (planning a review, searching and selecting studies, data collection, risk of bias assessment, statistical analysis, GRADE and interpreting results), as well as more specialised topics (non-randomized studies, adverse effects, complex interventions, equity, economics, patient-reported outcomes, individual patient data, prospective meta-analysis, and qualitative research).
Last updated: 22 August, 2023
Key aspects of Handbook guidance are collated as the Methodological Expectations for Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR). These provide core standards that are generally expected of Cochrane reviews. Each MECIR item includes a link to a relevant Handbook chapter.
For further information and for any Handbook enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Handbook editorial team includes: Julian Higgins and James Thomas (Senior Scientific Editors); Jacqueline Chandler, Miranda Cumpston, Tianjing Li, Matthew Page and Vivian Welch (Associate Scientific Editors); Ella Flemyng (Managing Editor).
To cite the full Handbook online, please use:
Higgins JPT, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumpston M, Li T, Page MJ, Welch VA (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions version 6.4 (updated August 2023). Cochrane, 2023. Available from www.training.cochrane.org/handbook.
To cite the print edition of the Handbook, please use:
Higgins JPT, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumpston M, Li T, Page MJ, Welch VA (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. 2nd Edition. Chichester (UK): John Wiley & Sons, 2019.
Details of how to cite individual chapters in either of these versions are available in each chapter.
Academic or other non-commercial re-use of Handbook material
You do not need to request permission to use short quotations (though these must be appropriately cited), or to cite the Handbook as a source. See How to cite the Handbook.
If you intend to reproduce material from the Handbook using screenshots, including exact figures or tables from the Handbook or including lengthy direct quotations (more than 5 lines of text), then please fill in this form to request permission to re-use material from the Handbook. This will be sent to the Cochrane Support team who will notify Julian Higgins or James Thomas, the Handbook Senior Editors, as appropriate. If approved, these requests will be granted free of charge on condition that the source is acknowledged.
Commercial re-use of Handbook material
Commercial re-use includes any use of the Handbook that will be used in a product for which there is a monetary fee, and/or where it is associated in any way with any product or service. For all enquiries related to the commercial re-use of Handbook material please contact Wiley Global Permissions, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Archived copies of the following previous versions of the Handbook are available:
- Version 6.3: February 2022 [browsable]
- Version 6.2: February 2021 [browsable]
- Version 6.1: September 2020 [browsable]
- Version 6.0: July 2019 [browsable]
- Version 5.2: June 2017 [PDF]
- Version 5.1: March 2011 [browsable]
- Version 5.0.2: September 2009 [browsable]
- Version 5.0.0: February 2008 [browsable]
- Version 4.2.6: September 2006 [PDF] 2.8MB
- Version 4.2.1: December 2003 [PDF]