1 July 2024: The Editorial Publishing & Policy Resource is scheduled to be archived. This page may not contain the most updated version of the information and is being retained for reference until 1 August 2024. 

Please see Withdrawing articles published in the CDSR in the revised editorial guidance resource.

Follow these five steps when withdrawing a published Cochrane Review. All five steps apply for Cochrane Reviews and protocols for Cochrane Reviews, although editorial teams can apply only steps 1, 2, and 5 if a protocol is withdrawn because it is out of date, new authors are needed, or because the protocol has been split into or merged with other protocols, as per the policyAlso see the policy for withdrawing published Cochrane Reviews.

Step 1. Notify authors

The Managing Editor should notify the contact author (with copies to all co-authors) of the intention to withdraw the Cochrane Review - and give the opportunity for discussion (unless authors are not contactable) before proceeding with publication of the withdrawn statement.

If contactable, the authors must be asked if they agree with the proposed withdrawal, as this information can be included in the withdrawn statement.

Step 2. Draft the withdrawn statement

The withdrawn statements must include some key information. The reasons for withdrawal must not be potentially defamatory.

The withdrawn statement for Cochrane Reviews must include the following information:

  • Reason(s) for withdrawal, starting with: "This Cochrane Review has been withdrawn from publication."
  • Which section(s) of the review is/are affected.
  • Who is withdrawing the review (and whether the authors agree).
  • Whether the Cochrane Review will be revised and republished in future.

The withdrawn statement for protocols for Cochrane Reviews must include the following information:

  • Reason(s) for withdrawal, starting with: "This protocol for a Cochrane Review has been withdrawn."
  • Who is withdrawing the protocol (and whether the authors agree).
  • Whether the protocol will be revised and republished in future.

Step 3. Approval from Editor in Chief

The Editor in Chief must approve the withdrawal of each Cochrane Review. Provide the:

  • Title
  • DOI of the version being withdrawn
  • Reason for withdrawal

Step 4. Notify Editorial & Methods Department

Forward the withdrawn approval email (including the information in Step 3) to the Editorial & Methods Department (emd@cochrane.org) before publication.

Step 5. Withdraw the Cochrane Review

Follow the steps available in the Archie Knowledge Base.