In some instances, it may be desirable to split an existing review into two or more new reviews, or to merge two or more existing reviews into one new review. Both scenarios involve creating at least one new citation version of a review and will involve using the Updating Classification System (UCS) to classify the original review(s). File management in Archie can become quite complex in such cases, and the best way of proceeding will vary from case to case.

For more information on the editorial aspects of using the Updating Classification System, see the Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource: Updating Classification System for Cochrane Reviews.  
There are two general approaches to consider when splitting or merging reviews:

  • In the Forked approach, all original reviews are ultimately classified using the UCS, for example, No update planned, and all resulting reviews are new.  
  • In the Branched approach, one original review continues to be published.

In either approach, there will be a single review which the resulting review(s) will be based on in terms of content (text, data)  and attributes (authors, topics).
Note that the process of publishing a set of split or merged reviews consists of four phases in total, only one of which involves the Split and Merge Wizard:

  1. Decide on the best approach for the particular case. If in doubt, consult with a ME Support person (mesupport@cochrane.org).
  2. Use the Split and Merge Wizard to create the relevant number of reviews. As part of this process one or more reviews will be classified using the UCS and have a rationale and explanation added.    
  3. Work on each review as needed until they are fit for publication. This can range from checking or updating basic attributes, such as Authors, to fully developing the contents of the review.  
  4. Once all reviews are ready (both new/updated, and withdrawn), run the Publication Wizard for each review.  
  5. Note: When splitting or merging reviews, all topics from the original reviews are copied to the newly created reviews.

To open the Split and Merge Wizard

  1. Locate the Group to which the review(s) belong.
  2. Right-click the Group name and choose Split and Merge Wizard. The Split and Merge Wizard window opens.

To split a review

  1. Open the Split and Merge Wizard, and click Next.
  2. Choose Split a Review Into Multiple Reviews and click Next.
  3. Choose the Split type (Forked or Branched) and click Next.
    • In the Forked split, the original review is classified as No update planned, and two or more new reviews are created.
    • In the Branched split, the original review continues to be published, and one or more additional reviews are created. Note that this approach does not allow a new protocol for the original review to be published.
  4. Choose the review to be split. To do so, click  to open the Select Document window; locate the review and click it, then click Select. To continue, click Next.
  5. If you want to split the review into more than two reviews, click More to add another review. You can add any number of reviews.  
  6. Edit Review No and Title for each review as needed. In a Branched split, the original review that will continue to be published is shown at the top, in bold text. Click Next to continue.   
  7. Click OK and then Finish.

To merge reviews

  1. Open the Split and Merge Wizard, and click Next.
  2. Choose Merge Multiple Reviews Into a Single Review and click Next.
  3. Choose the Merge type (Forked or Branched) and click Next.
    • In the Forked merge, the original reviews are classified as No update planned, and one new review is created.
    • In the Branched merge, one original review continues to be published as the merged review and the other reviews are classified as No update planned. Note that this approach does not allow a new protocol to be published.
  4. If you want to merge more than two reviews, click More to add another review. You can add any number of reviews.
  5. Choose the reviews to be merged. For each field, click  to open the Select Document window; locate the review and click it, then click Select. The review that the final review will be based on (in a Branched merge: the review that will continue to be published) is shown at the top, with an asterisk [*]. To continue, click Next.
  6. Enter a new Title and Review No (optional) and click Next.
  7. Click OK and then Finish.

Note: the Merge function in Archie is to help manage the titles, versions and linkages between versions reviews only. The Merge function does not merge the content of the reviews but does transfer the text of one of the reviews into the new review. The content of the reviews should be merged manually and the easiest way to do that is by placing two reviews next to each other in RevMan and using the copy/paste function in the tree view of the reviews.