Thank you for your interest in becoming a Cochrane author. This contribution to Cochrane’s work involves the greatest commitment of time and skills for our members. To help you decide if this is the right choice for you, here is some basic information about expectations of Cochrane authors. Please read and then decide how you want to proceed.
Cochrane Reviews have to be prepared by at least two people, and often may require more than two. Cochrane Review author teams must provide among the members a range of skills and experience necessary to complete a Cochrane Review to established organizational quality standards. These skills and experience include:
- content knowledge relating to the topic of the review;
- basic knowledge of systematic review methodology (including formulating the review question and eligibility criteria, searching and assessing the risk of bias of relevant studies);
- basic statistical knowledge in order to extract appropriate data, conduct meta-analyses where appropriate, and interpret and discuss the results;
- the ability to write a scientific report of publishable standard in English;
- project management and leadership ability within the team (usually the named Contact Person).
In addition, all authors of a Cochrane Review team should:
- approach the review with scientific rigour, be as objective as possible, and avoid conflicts of interest;
- be comprehensive, systematic and methodical in their approach to all aspects of the review; and
- follow the advice and guidance in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, taking account of any specific instructions or preferences a CRG may have.
Cochrane Training provides face-to-face workshops and online learning on systematic review methods and related topics. You might find this training helpful, although completing any particular training course cannot provide all the knowledge and experience you might need to complete a Cochrane Review.
Participating in authorship of a Cochrane Review from title registration to publication requires a significant commitment of time and expertise over an extended period from all authors, supported by Cochrane editorial staff. The author team should be aware of its limitations, be willing to receive and respond to suggestions from the CRG editorial team and reviewers, be willing and able to see the review through to completion, and to address updates.
To help authors, once a title has been accepted and registered, Cochrane provides a range of training covering the steps involved in preparing a Cochrane Review (e.g. online learning, workshops and webinars). This does not mean Cochrane has the resources or capacity to provide open-ended support to teams of novice review authors; authors are still expected to be familiar with the principles of systematic reviewing and to demonstrate that they have the capacity to complete a review.
Despite support and encouragement, sometimes review teams struggle to make sufficient progress with their review, or they submit draft versions that would require too much input from the CRG editorial team to meet acceptable standards. In these circumstances, the CRG may decide to withdraw the review from the authors, citing concerns over quality and the capacity of the review team to complete the review.
It is important for author teams to recognize that throughout the process of review preparation (be it at the title registration, protocol or review stage) the review could be taken out of the editorial process due to concerns about quality that cannot be resolved.
If you feel you have the time and skills to make this commitment, please click the ‘Become an author’ button below. You will be taken to the Cochrane account page, where you will be asked to create a Cochrane account. If you already have a Cochrane account, you can log in here also.
If you do not feel you are able to commit your resources to authoring at this time, please consider other ways you can contribute to Cochrane.