Publishing an original summary or publishing a short version of a Cochrane Review in a biomedical journal may help keep some audiences up-to-date with the most recent Cochrane evidence.
To re-publish Cochrane content in external journals, you need to get permission from Cochrane’s publisher (Wiley). There is more detail below or to find out more information on Cochrane’s co-publication policy and processes please go to the co-publication section of the Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource.
In March 2021, there were two meetings with some of the Cochrane Groups who support the development of summaries of Cochrane Reviews in journals. A summary of these meetings with responses to the questions asked is available here.
Types of summaries and publication requirements
Republication of a short version of a Cochrane Review: this includes republishing the short versions of the review (abstract/plain language summary/abridged version); short version alongside an original commentary/article or a short version of the review alone translated from English.
In all cases where someone wishes to republish a short-version of a review (e.g. Plain language summary or abstract) in a journal, they must get permission from Wiley via a co-publication agreement. See ‘Setting up a co-publication agreement’
Original review summaries are summaries of a Cochrane review where the authors of the article provide a commentary on the Cochrane review in their own words. The summary does not republish exact content of the Cochrane Review.
Original summaries can be written on a one-time basis, or as a series of original summaries within a specific journal. When a group wants to publish a series of original review summaries, they should set up an agreement with Wiley and the journal through signing a type of co-publication agreement (for original articles based on Cochrane Reviews only).
- Cochrane’s publisher Wiley already has signed co-publication agreements with a number of journals which enables Cochrane to publish short versions of their reviews for dissemination purposes. We have a full list of these agreements.
- If a journal not on the list wishes to publish a short version of a Cochrane review they must request permission by applying directly to the Cochrane Library publisher, John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Journal editors should contact Georgina Smith (Associate Journals Publishing Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss the arrangements.
- Original commentaries/articles whether or not they are published in addition to a Cochrane Review abstract or plain language summary, should clearly differentiate between the author(s) of the commentary and the author(s) of the Cochrane Review (i.e. it should not appear that the Cochrane Review has been published by the authors of the commentary).
Writing a review summary
- Summaries can be written on a one-time basis with a review journal, or through a series which regularly presents different Cochrane Reviews (see "Setting up a series of review summaries with a journal")
- In all cases it is important to understand the co-publication requirements and to work with the journal to set up any agreements where necessary.
Draft the summary article, taking into consideration the needs of those who will read the journal.
Top tip! Once you have a draft of your review summary, use the dissemination checklist to improve the draft.
- It is advisable to work with the Cochrane Review Group and/or review authors at an early stage to let them know about the proposed summary.
- Always reference the Cochrane Review in the summary, preferably as the first citation.
If you want to create or re-publish a Review summary in languages other than English, contact the Cochrane Translation Group responsible for that language about your plans.
- If a translation already exists, let them know that you want to re-use it.
- If there is no existing translation then you are welcome to translate the summary but please let the translation team know. They could help disseminate it.
- Committing to a series of summaries with a Journal can be a significant task. It may be helpful to talk to Cochrane Groups who are already doing this before you start. Contact the knowledge translation department for more details (email@example.com).
- There will need to be a signed agreement (for original articles based on Cochrane Reviews only) for the series of review summaries between the journal, the Cochrane Group who will coordinate the summaries, and Wiley, our publisher (contact Georgina Smith, Associate Journals Publishing Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Cochrane can help with custom banners or specific sized logos from your group, if required, please contact Sabrina Khamissa (email@example.com).
Sharing your review summary
When you know that the latest issue of a journal contains a summary of a Cochrane review, you can advertise it using social media, through your website and newsletter (where applicable). Read tips on how to share information though social media.
Where possible, you should notify the original review authors and Cochrane Review Group. This can be done by email or by tagging them in the social media. This page shares how to write more effective targeted emails.
Top Tip! If you agree to a partnership with a journal don’t forget to let your supporters know! You can include it in the central Cochrane social media accounts by contacting Muriah Umoquit (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Evaluating the effect of your review summary
The ‘finding out whether you are making a difference’ section of this website provides more tools for thinking about evaluating the review summaries, including both an example draft evaluation plan and a more detailed evaluation plan for such projects.
Examples of Original Summaries from Cochrane Groups
- Cochrane Rehabilitation through various journals including Neurorehabilitation, American Journal of Physical and Medical Rehabilitation, Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions
- Cochrane Heart through BMJ Heart
- Cochrane Nursing through many journals including American Journal of Nursing (some also translated into Chinese, Hebrew, Portuguese and Spanish in different journals)
- Cochrane Pre-hospital and Emergency Care through Mediterranean Journal of Emergency Medicine
- Cochrane Insurance Medicine and Cochrane Work (also published in German, Dutch, French)
- Cochrane South Africa through Pan-African Medical Journal and South African Medical Journal
- Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders and Cochrane Airways in Paediatric Respiratory Reviews and Thorax (as 4-5 line ‘newsflash’)
- Cochrane New Zealand through Journal of Primary Health Care
Dutch and French
- Cochrane Belgium through Artsenkrant, Axxon, De Apotheker, Nursing
- Cochrane Portugal through the Acta Medica Portuguesa Portuguese Journal of Paediatrics and Revista Portuguesa de Cardiologia