It is best practice to contact new potential peer reviewers at an institutional email address rather than a generic email address (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo) to reduce the risk of fraud. This can occur when someone other than a legitimate is able to complete a peer review report by intercepting an invitation email. Of course, there are circumstances when this might not be possible and, in such cases, the CRG editorial team should be aware of the risk and proceed with common sense. Peer reviewers' contact details should be stored in Archie, not in external spreadsheets. A link to the academic/professional profile of potential can be added to a Note on the review's Properties sheet. Please encourage new peer reviewers to create a Cochrane Account so that they can be added to a workflow. If you create an Archie person record for a new peer reviewer, this will automatically create a linked Cochrane Account, and they will be sent an email with instructions to activate the account and choose a password. If they choose not to activate their account, their details will remain in Archie (the activation email informs them of this).
The invitation email should contain the following:
- The title and abstract of the Cochrane Review (or title only if a protocol);
- Deadline for return of comments;
- A statement that all of the information shared is confidential; and
- A link to the Cochrane conflict of interest policy.
The follow-up email (after acceptance of the invitation) could include the following:
- Published protocol (for reviews).
- Title proposal/registration form (for protocols).
- Full manuscript (note that this should only be shared with peer reviewers after the invitation to review has been accepted).
- Screening documents from the screening team at the Editorial and Methods Department, if available.
- Review-specific information, such as completed data extraction forms and copies of the included/excluded studies (for reviews).
- Peer review checklist – either the generic Cochrane version, the CRG-specific version, or the mandatory sections of the peer review checklist if no checklist is used (see Peer review checklists).
- Details of who to contact with questions or concerns.
- Specific peer reviewer guidance from the CRG (only necessary if you are inviting the for the first time).
- A link to the Peer reviewer conduct information.