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Authoring

Refer to Cochrane Review proposals

Title formats

Cochrane Review titles have different standard formats depending on the type of Review, which authors need to adhere to. The standard format for each type of Review is detailed below.

For Cochrane Reviews of Interventions, see the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions section II.1.3 for information about structuring a title.

For Cochrane Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy, the structure of the title should adhere to one of the following formats with additional guidance in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy chapter 2:

  • [Index test 1] FOR [target condition(s)] e.g. High-frequency ultrasound for diagnosing skin cancer
  • [Index test 1] VERSUS [Index test 2] FOR [target condition(s)] e.g. Temporal artery ultrasound versus temporal artery biopsy for giant cell arteritis
  • [Index test 1] FOR [target condition(s)] IN [participant group] e.g. Cytology for cervical cancer screening in adults

For Cochrane Reviews of Prognosis, the structure of the title should adhere to one of the following formats:

  • Incidence of [outcome] within [time] in [population]
  • [Prognostic factors] for predicting incidence of [outcome] in [population]
  • Prediction of [outcome] in [population] using [prognostic factors]
  • Prognostic models for predicting [outcome] in [population]
  • Performance of [prognostic model] for predicting [outcome] in [population]
  • Added/Incremental value of [prognostic factor] on top of [existing prognostic factors/prognostic model] for predicting [outcome] in [population]
  • [Predictive factors] predicting the [outcome of treatment] in [population]
  • [Factors / Models] predicting differential treatment response in [population]
  • [Factors / Models] for predicting treatment response in [population]

For Cochrane Overviews, the structure of the title should adhere to one of the following formats:

  • Interventions FOR [health problem/issue] e.g. Interventions for bronchiectasis: an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews
  • [Intervention] FOR [health problem/issue] e.g. Adhesion prevention agents for gynaecological surgery: an overview of Cochrane reviews
  • [Intervention] FOR [health problem/issue] IN [participant group] e.g. Blood products for the prevention of intraventricular haemorrhage in preterm infants: an overview of systematic reviews

For Cochrane Reviews of Qualitative Evidence Synthesis, the structure of the title be brief and closely reflect the main objective of the Review. The title should always end with “a qualitative evidence synthesis”. Where a Qualitative Evidence Synthesis is linked to a published Cochrane Review of Interventions, consider using terms for the population, intervention or phenomena of interest similar to those used in that Review.

For Cochrane Methodology Reviews, the structure of the title should adhere to one of the following formats (Methodology Reviews should be handled by the Methodology Review Group only)

  • [Method] FOR [methodological problem/issue] e.g. Methods for obtaining unpublished data
  • [Method A] VERSUS [Method B] FOR [methodological problem/issue] e.g. Blinded versus unblinded assessments of risk of bias in studies included in a systematic review

Non-standard titles are automatically alerted to the Cochrane Editorial & Methods Department, where they will be considered alongside current guidance for title structures in the Cochrane Handbook. The Cochrane Editorial & Methods Department may suggest alternative title formulations, but the final decision on a title rests with Cochrane Review Groups.


General guidance for review proposals

Step 1: assess the title

The completed review proposal form should give the editorial team the information necessary to make an initial decision on the title. Criteria to consider are the:

Managing Editors who circulate the form by email to editors for consideration must remove the authors’ email addresses in section 1. 

Managing Editors can register the proposal in Archie as a Vacant Title at this stage if required.

Step 2: accept or reject the title

If the CRG does not wish to pursue work on this topic, please contact the authors promptly. Other options are to:

  • transfer the form to another CRG if it is outside the CRG's scope;
  • request resubmission of the proposal with a named mentor (experienced Cochrane author); or
  • advise the authors on available training opportunities.

If the CRG would like to accept the title, the Managing Editor needs to:

  • register the proposal in Archie as a Vacant Title;
  • allocate author roles to the potential authors; and
  • request Conflict of Interest forms from each member of the author team.

Step 3: assess the authors

The CRG will need to evaluate the authors’ submitted declarations of interest in relation to the Cochrane conflict of interest policy, and resolve any relevant conflicts with the author team. If the editorial team has queries about implementing the policy, contact Managing Editor Support (support@cochrane.org).

If there are unresolvable conflicts of interest:

  • change the status of the Vacant Title to Inactive (on Advanced tab of review properties); and
  • change the author roles to inactive/delete the author role in the CRG.

If the team can proceed:

  • change the status of the Vacant Title to Registered Title or Protocol (on General tab of review properties). Note that the Managing Editor will need to change the status to Protocol if the authors wish to work in RevMan Web.
  • inform the authors that the title is registered, send them the CRG's welcome/instruction email and include instructions on adding Affiliations to their Archie records.

Data protection

By submitting a review proposal form, the authors have given Cochrane permission to process the data it contains.

All authors should create Cochrane Accounts before completing this form. All authors will have Archie records. The CRG should not need to collect any additional personal data from authors.

As mentioned above, when the Managing Editors completes the title registration, the Managing Editor will need to provide authors with instructions on adding Affiliations to their Archie records.

Storing review proposal forms

Accepted titles: save the review proposal form as an attachment to a workflow or to a note on the review properties. If the CRG saves these forms elsewhere, document the process.

Rejected titles: Managing Editors can choose whether tp delete or archive proposals for rejected reviews. If the CRGs chooses to store the form, ensure it is stored securely; for example:

  • as an attachment to a public note on the lead author’s person record;
  • in a group file in Archie for rejected titles; or
  • in a secure local file that is password protected.

Document the decision.

Further notes about the review proposal forms

Refer to the sections in the review proposal forms.

Section 1. Author registration

Use the email addresses provided here, to identify authors’ accounts in Archie when allocating author roles.

Delete this section before circulating this form by email, e.g. to group editors.

Sections 4 and 5. Review details and context

Modify these sections as needed, to reflect the CRG’s priorities and criteria for accepting titles.

Section 6. Declarations of interest

At proposal stage, authors are asked to confirm that they have read the Cochrane conflict of interest policy and to confirm if any author team members are potentially conflicted. They are advised to disclose potential conflicts at the earliest opportunity.

If the CRG is interested in accepting the title, the Managing Editor should request full Declarations of Interest in Archie. This is in accordance with conflict of interest policy that conflicts of Interest must be disclosed at title proposal stage. See Step 3: assess the authors.

Section 8. Author details

All authors are informed that, if the title is accepted, their affiliations will be published with the completed protocol or review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Library. Personal data collected and used for publication in the Cochrane Library are covered by the Wiley Privacy policy.

CRGs should not need to collect any additional personal data from authors. See data protection above.

Section 10. Team resources

If the CRG registers the title, the Managing Editor should let authors know that they are entitled to free access to the Cochrane Interactive Learning modules. If the CRG identifies any additional author training needs in this section, refer authors to relevant Cochrane Training resources.

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