About workflows

The workflow system offers immediate and easy access to information on the progress of each individual review, from title registration to review publication and updates. It keeps a comprehensive history of everything that happens during the preparation of the review. This information can be made available in customised report formats or as search results. Prompts, reminders and emails can be generated automatically. The Editorial team will be able to easily monitor revisions, decisions and overdue activities.
Workflows consist of a series of tasks, grouped within Milestones.
There are 6 workflows available on the live Archie server. The review stage determines which workflows can be run. The table below shows the possible workflows, and for which review stage they can be started.

 Workflow Type / Review Stage

Vacant Title

Registered Title



Title Registration


Protocol Development


Review  Development


Protocol Amendment


Review Amendment


Review Update


For details of the templates currently available in Archie, see the list and descriptions at https://community.cochrane.org/editorial-and-publishing-policy-resource/information-technology/editorial-workflows-cochrane-reviews.     

Workflow properties

Each review has a Workflow Properties sheet that contains information about workflows. The person with the Workflow Manager role can edit these properties (e.g., set the time duration for a workflow or assign people to workflow roles).    
Each workflow has a Properties sheet with the following tabs:
General -  Contains general information about the workflow such as:

  • the title of a review
  • the name of a workflow manager
  • status of the workflow ('In Progress', 'Aborted', 'Completed' and 'Pending')
  • a graphical presentation of the last milestone reached (if any)
  • start and end date of the workflow
  • a workflow report (see Workflow reports).

People - Contains the roles available for a workflow and shows potential contributors for them. The number of roles available varies according to the type of workflow templates (e.g. Title Registration will have less roles than Review Development ). As a workflow manager you can add, edit and delete people assigned to particular workflow roles. See Workflow roles for more details.
Tasks - Contains the list of tasks that are grouped according to their progress (e.g., 'Completed', 'In Progress', 'Not Started',). From the Task tab you can view and edit individual tasks. See About tasks for more details.
History - Records all events in the workflow. All events are listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent event at the top. A workflow manager can add notes to the history of the workflow. All added notes are considered as events too (see Creating workflow notes). You can view workflow history with varying detail levels (Full, Medium and Simple) using the pull-down list at the top of the History tab. The default detail level option in workflow history is set to Simple (shows the most general workflow events).
Files - A workflow manager can upload, store, delete and rename various documents related to the review. Task assignees can also add files (e.g. using the ticketing system). The maximum file size for uploading is 10 MB, and the file name cannot exceed 100 characters (longer file names will be truncated to 100 when uploaded) . By default, all attached files are sorted in chronological order, the most recent file at the top. See Editing a workflow for more details.

  • Note: Comments submitted via a ticket are stored as a text file. Each comment is automatically saved as '[Task no.] Comment.txt'. The full name of the task is recorded in the Task column.

Gannt Chart - Shows progress over time on the various tasks that make up the workflow. Blue bars indicate the time spent on completed tasks or allotted for future tasks; grey bars appear for tasks that were skipped or completed in less than one day. In Progress tasks that are not overdue are marked with a green stripe; those that are overdue feature a red stripe.

  • Tip: The Gannt chart for a full workflow is typically too complex to be very useful. Use the milestone buttons at the top to limit the display to tasks within an individual milestone.       

To open a workflow Properties sheet

  1. Find the workflow you want to open (e.g., with Advanced Search, see Advanced workflow search options).
  2. You can either,
    • Right-click the name and choose Properties,
    • Double-click the name,
    • Click the name so it is highlighted and use File > Properties,
    • Go to the review's Proprieties > Workflow tab. Choose the desired workflow and click Properties.

To change the workflow history level of detail

  1. Go to the History tab.
  2. Choose the level of detail from the pull-down list.
  • Tip: To include task related events in addition to more general workflow-related events check the 'Include task events' box.

See also: Aborting a workflow, Starting a workflow and Deleting a workflow.