Good practice resources for new Cochrane authors

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. For any queries, please contact your editorial team or email support@cochrane.org.

  • Reference sources and standards
    • Cochrane Handbook for Systematic reviews of interventions
    • GRADE Handbook
    • Cochrane standards (MECIR)
    • Cochrane Style Basics and the Cochrane Style Manual
    • Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource
  • Software and other tools
    • Archie
    • RevMan
    • Covidence
    • GRADEpro GDT 
    • EPPI-Reviewer
  • General resources
    • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Cochrane Library
    • Cochrane Training
    • Cochrane News

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:

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: https://gdt.gradepro.org/app/handbook/handbook.html

Cochrane standards (MECIR)

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 & Methods Department's quality assurance programme provide additional advice on how to improve the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Reviews.

Cochrane Style Basics and the Cochrane Style Manual

The Cochrane Style Manual is designed to help review authors, editors, and copy-editors apply a consistent style when writing and editing Cochrane Reviews. This document can also be found on the Help menu in RevMan software. Cochrane Style Basics is a shorter summary of essential items, aimed at authors. All Cochrane Reviews and protocols must adhere to the guidance contained in the Cochrane Style Manual.

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. You can log in to Archie with your Cochrane Account. The Archie Help section for Cochrane authors provides useful guidance. 

RevMan

Review Manager (RevMan) is the tool used to analyse the data and write the review article. RevMan Web is an online version recommended for new Cochrane Review of interventions and flexible reviews. It has been designed to integrate with other systematic review software and new features and updates are added regularly. RevMan 5 is the desktop version of the software which is used for other review formats, and for offline working. It is no longer being developed or updated.
Top tips for using RevMan is a good starting point for all RevMan users.

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).

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. An introductory webinar on how to use GRADEpro GDT is available here. 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. An introductory webinar on how to use EPPI-Reviewer is available here


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 take the Cochrane Interactive Learning online course (self-directed learning resource on conducting systematic reviews of interventions, available in English and Spanish). 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.