Updated process active from 27 October 2022. The text here duplicates the text on the Cochrane Library's author-facing page.
Under Cochrane's appeals policy, authors may appeal the decision to reject their manuscript of a Cochrane Review, protocol, or update, following the process below.
- Authors must lodge their intent to appeal within seven days of the reject decision being sent. The full appeal must be submitted no later than 28 days after the reject decision was sent.
- Appeals must be submitted by email via Editorial Manager. Authors should select the ‘Send email’ action link, and choose the ad hoc email template ‘Author - Appeal of reject decision’, copying in the original handling editor for their information only.
- Authors must describe in detail why they disagree with the reject decision, citing either error(s) in the decision or error(s) in the editorial process. If the appeal is based on error(s) in the decision, authors may include a point-by-point rebuttal to comments in the reject decision email.
- As only one appeal will be considered, authors should ensure that all relevant points are included in their appeal email.
- Authors must not send a revised article with their appeal. A revised version submitted with the appeal will not be considered as part of the appeal.
- Appeals will be acknowledged within three working days, copying in all co-authors.
- Appeals will be considered by at least one independent editor who was not involved in the original decision. The independent editor(s) will consider the appeal and the documentation pertaining to the reject decision, and will either uphold or overturn the reject decision. Reject decisions will be overturned only if the independent editor(s) is convinced that the decision was a serious error in decision or process. The independent editor’s decision is final.
- If the independent editor upholds the reject decision (appeal unsuccessful), no further appeals can be made, and no further correspondence about the article will be entered into.
- If the independent editor overturns the reject decision (appeal successful), they may request that authors address certain points within the manuscript before resubmitting. Cochrane’s Central Editorial Service, who will handle the process for articles revised and resubmitted after a successful appeal, may also send specific revision requests to the authors. Submission of a revised article does not guarantee publication. If authors do not wish to revise their article, they may withdraw the article from the editorial process.
- The appeal decision will be shared with the original handling editor for their information only.
- If possible, the independent editor(s) will provide their definitive response to the appeal within three weeks of the appeal being submitted. If this is not possible, an interim response will be given at the three-week mark. Further interim responses will be provided until the appeal is closed.