The Editorial Team of The CHBG and collaborators assess the quality of titles, protocols, and systematic reviews. Both protocols and systematic reviews are peer-reviewed externally before they are published. Criticisms and comments of published protocols and systematic reviews are also very welcome. Such criticisms and comments should be sent via the Submit Feedback facility included in each protocol and review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in The Cochrane Library. The Editorial Team welcomes people from any region or background to contribute to and assist with these tasks.
From 24 of June 2022, people willing to work on a systematic review will submit proposals for new reviews to the Cochrane central Editorial Manager site
For further information please see Production resources
After having registered a provisional title, authors are expected to submit a protocol for the systematic review within the next six months.
Information and knowledge on how to develop a protocol and perform a systematic review can be obtained by attending Cochrane workshops, by contacting the nearest Cochrane Centre, or by contacting The CHBG Editorial Team Office. The protocol has a series of standard headings. A number of protocols published in most recent years in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews can serve as models.
The Information Specialist can assist with development of the search strategies for the review. Please see Searches for studies.
Intervention review protocols
Full instructions are given in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.
The Managing Editor works with the protocol, and if the protocol is considered well-prepared (i.e. follows the guidelines in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and follows the requirements for style and format of the Cochrane Style Manual), it will be peer reviewed by the appointed 'Contact Editor' and at least two peer reviewers external to The CHBG. The Co-ordinating Editor may also make additional comments on the protocol. The Information specialist also checks the protocol for relevant to the searches and references parts.
The authors are expected to amend the protocol in light of the comments from the peer reviewer(s) and editor(s). Once accepted and copy-edited, protocol are published in The CHBG Module of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews of The Cochrane Library.
Diagnostic test accuracy review protocols
Please visit the Cochrane Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group (SDTM) webiste for detailed information.
The Managing Editor works with the protocol, and if the protocol is considered well-prepared (i.e. follows the guidelines in the Handbook for diagnostic test accuracy reviews and follows the requirements for style and format of the Cochrane Style Manual, it will be peer reviewed by the appointed 'Contact Editor' and at least two peer reviewers external to The CHBGThe Co-ordinating Editor may also make additional comments on the protocol.
Publication of Cochrane diagnostic test accuracy protocols (and reviews) in The Cochrane Library requires the approval of both the Cochrane Review Group (CRG) and a Diagnostic test accuracy editorial team (DTA ET). This means that joint sign-off of protocols and reviews by a CRG Editor and a DTA Editor is required for the publication.
Intervention reviews and Diagnostic test accuracy reviews
The authors are expected to finalise the performance of the systematic review within 18 months after the protocol has been published. The primary responsibility for identifying all potentially eligible trials for the systematic review rests with the authors. The authors will be assisted in this task by the Managing Editor, as well as by the Information Specialist who will supply the authors with information on relevant trials from The CHBG Controlled Trials Register and other electronic databases. Please see Searches for studies. The primary responsibility for applying the inclusion criteria and assembling the data rests with the authors. As previously stated, preferably two people should do this independently. Therefore, the Editorial Team encourages at least two authors per systematic review. When the systematic review is completed, the contact author checks in the review on Archie and informs by e-mail the Managing Editor. The review, if considered well-prepared, following the guidelines in the respective Handbook, and its format is according to the requirements of the Cochrane Style Manual, will be peer reviewed by the appointed Contact Editor and at least two peer reviewers.
Once the authors have responded satisfactorily to the comments (ie, by making the amendments in the review as well as preparing a cover letter to the Contact Editor with point-to-point replies), the review is put through final editing (all CHBG Editors and CHBG Consumers evaluate the review) before being published in The CHBG Module of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews of The Cochrane Library. CHBG Consumer peer reviewers evaluate and comment on the review. Occasionally, peer reviewers and/or editors consider a review to be of inadequate quality and decide that it should not be published in its present form. Authors will be informed as to why this is the case, and remedial action suggested.
The CHBG operates open, signed peer reviewing meaning that once we receive comments from peer reviewers on a systematic review, we circulate the comments without hiding the names of the peer reviewers to the authors. In the case when the peer reviewers are interested in each others' comments, we may also send the comments to the peer reviewers. Furthermore, peer reviewers and The CHBG Editorial Team are both responsible for ensuring a fair peer reviewing process. That is why we request peer reviewers to state in writing whether they have any conflicts of interest when peer reviewing the protocol or the systematic review. The view that we share is 'declaring more is better than declaring less'.
In each issue of The Cochrane Library, in the Acknowledgement section of the protocol or the review, we acknowledge the people who have peer reviewed the protocol or the review. The Contact Editor who had been assigned to the protocol or the review is also acknowledged.
Once one or more sign-off editors approve the publication of a protocol or a review, the Managing Editor sends these to Rachel Richradson, Associate Editor at the Evidence Production and Methods Department, Cochrane UK, for further screeening and comments.
Protocols and reviews are copy edited by the Cochrane Copy Edit Support Department, UK.