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Authoring

Refer to Cochrane Review proposals

Title formats

Cochrane Reviews need to adhere to the standard formats for Cochrane Review titles, as set out in Table 4.2.a of the Cochrane Handbook.

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 (mesupport@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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