Registering titles for Cochrane Reviews
Thousands of people from around the world contribute to The Cochrane Collaboration as review authors. Review teams, typically comprising clinicians and researchers, come together to address a particular topic by summarising all the available evidence. Authors are motivated to write a review for many reasons, for example, to resolve conflicting evidence, to address questions of clinical uncertainty, to explore variations in practice or to highlight a need for further research, but the overarching aim in preparing a review is to help people make well-informed decisions about health care.
Before beginning work, all Cochrane Systematic Reviews must be registered as titles with a Cochrane Review Group. Registering your title is important to prevent duplication of effort with other authors, and to make sure your topic is appropriate for a Cochrane Review. There are 52 Review Groups that each focus on a particular area of health, co-ordinated by an editorial team who edit and publish completed reviews in The Cochrane Library. Unlike other journals, your Cochrane Review Group will provide support and advice throughout the review process.
The steps you need to follow to register a review are outlined below. If you need assistance or are unsure how to proceed, contact your nearest Cochrane Centre.
- Decide on your topic for a review. Make sure your proposed title does not duplicate any work already published or registered with The Cochrane Collaboration.
- Search The Cochrane Library for any published protocols or reviews related to your topic of interest.
- Search or browse a full list of unpublished, registered titles on the Cochrane Summaries site. Select "Browse health topics" >> "Other browse options" and then scroll down on the left under "Other browse options" >> "Stage" and tick the "Title" to show all registered titles. Use the "Filter by" on the left to sort by Cochrane Review Group.
- Identify a team of authors for your review. Cochrane Reviews must be undertaken by more than one person.
- Review teams should include people with expertise in the topic area being reviewed, and someone with experience in systematic review methodology.
- First-time review authors are encouraged to access Cochrane Training workshops and resources.
- Identify the Cochrane Review Group that is most relevant to your topic of interest.
- Check the Review Group website for details of the topics they cover and priorities for reviews of importance.
- If you are unsure which Review Group relates to your topic of interest, check the byline information of published reviews on related topics in The Cochrane Library.
- Make contact with the Review Group.
- Check the Review Group website for details on how they prefer to be contacted by new authors. This is usually by email, or they may have an online form. Let them know as much as you can about your proposed review.
- All Review Groups will ask you to complete a Title Registration Form. This form lets the group know the details of your proposed review, and the team you have put together. Check the Review Group website for their form.
Titles for reviews are accepted at the discretion of the Review Group. There may be some discussion with the Review Group editors and amendments required to clarify or change the scope of the review before the title can be registered.
Please note, although the Collaboration has recently started publishing reviews of diagnostic test accuracy (DTA), not all Cochrane Review Groups are accepting titles for DTA reviews. Those interested in conducting DTA reviews should contact the relevant Review Group directly, and visit the website of the Cochrane DTA Working Group for more information.