The Updating Classification System (UCS) guides readers as to whether a Cochrane Review is up to date, likely to be updated in future, or does not need updating at the current time. The system can also help Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) with prioritisation decisions for individual Cochrane Reviews. The UCS follows a decision framework that asks about the usage and currency of the review question, the availability of new studies or information, and how new information would impact on the review; and also whether new methods will make important changes to the review.

The Updating Classification System has three parameters:

  1. Updating Status: Provides readers with a guide to the status of the Cochrane Review, and the likely future plans for the Cochrane Review with respect to updating.
  2. Rationale: Provides a brief reason for the relevance and status.
  3. Explanation: Provides more detail to readers about the reasoning for the relevance and status. It also guides readers to more relevant Cochrane Reviews if available. This section is free text, but sample texts are provided for editors to adapt.

The UCS allows an editorial team to apply an Updating Status (along with the accompanying Rationale and Explanation) for each Cochrane Review in Archie. These will be published alongside a Cochrane Review (i.e. are not part of the article). The Updating Status can be applied and updated as frequently as needed, as its publication is not dependent on publication of the Cochrane Review (although the two are closely linked in certain cases).

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