Editorial checks

The editorial process in Editorial Manager has built-in ME Checks for different stages of the review production process, to allow you to evaluate the quality of new submissions.

You will see new manuscripts requiring checks under Direct to Editor New Submissions or Direct to Editor Revised Submissions in your Editor 'To-Do' List


Completing these checks represents good editorial practice, and is mandatory in Editorial Manager.

There are specific checklists for different review stages:

  • ME check - Expression - for Expressions of interest / short title proposals
  • ME check - Proposal - for full title proposals
  • ME Submission check - for new first drafts. (If authors are submitting a draft to EM for the first time, you may wish to complete this check even if the authors have revised their review in response to previous editor feedback. This will ensure you check the authors' first Declarations of Interest in Convey. See Convey guidance.)
  • ME Revision check - for drafts returned by authors responding to editor or peer reviewer comments. 
  • ME Acceptance check - sign-off of final version before copy edit


TaskPurpose Checklist questionsWhen?Assign to

ME Check - Expression

Quality assessment of Expressions of interest / short title proposals

  1. Is the CRG considering new review proposals now or in the near future?
  2. Is the proposed author team free from known concern at this stage?
  3. Is the research area within the scope of the CRG?
  4. Is the research area a priority for the CRG, as identified by any priority-setting activities?
  5. Is the proposed review free from overlap with any other registered titles, protocols or reviews within the CRG?
  6. Is the title expressed in the standard Cochrane format? 
  7. Does the CRG support the proposed type of review planned by the authors if a non-intervention review type is selected?
New Expression of Interest receivedME or editorial team member

ME Check - Proposal

Quality assessment of full title proposals
  1. Is the research area within the scope of the CRG? 
  2. Is the research area a priority for the CRG, as identified by any priority-setting activities?
  3. Is the proposed review free from overlap with any other registered titles, protocols or reviews within the CRG? 
  4. Is the title expressed in the standard Cochrane format? 
  5. Does the CRG have the expertise and availability to support or assess any complex methods suggested?
  6. If the proposed review has a deadline attached, is the CRG able to process a protocol and review within the timelines? 
  7. Have the authors confirmed the review is not under consideration for publication elsewhere?
  8. Is the CRG able to support the requests for assistance (author support or training) made by the authors?
  9. Do the authors have suitable literature resources available to them? 
  10. Have the authors identified software to conduct the review?
  11. Is the review likely to be of a manageable size in terms of the anticipated number of studies?
  12. The authors have submitted Declaration of interests forms for each author, there are no prohibitive conflicts, and the author team complies with the Conflicts of Interest Policy.
New review proposal received

ME Submission Check 

Quality assessment of new first drafts
  1. The authors have submitted the correct files (the PDF of latest RevMan file in RevMan Web).
  2. Declaration of interests forms have been submitted for each author, and the author group is in compliance with the relevant conflict of interest or commercial sponsorship policy.
  3. The plagiarism check does not identify serious issues.
  4. All authors meet criteria for authorship according to the ‘Contributions of authors’ section in the article.
  5. All relevant sections of the article are complete (in particular, protocols have a search strategy for a single database in the appendix, and reviews and updates have search strategies for all databases in the appendix).
  6. The duplicate submission check does not highlight a duplicate submission unrelated to this protocol/review/update. 
  7. All tables in the PDF are legible (no text has been omitted). If the review includes risk of bias 2 tables that are not legible, the instructions to Add Risk of Bias 2 tables and rebuild PDF have been followed.
New draft protocol, review or update submittedME or editorial team member

ME Revision Check

Quality assessment of drafts returned by authors responding to editor or peer reviewer comments
  1. The authors have submitted the correct files (the PDF of latest RevMan file in RevMan Web).
  2. The authors have provided a point-by-point response to the editor and reviewer comments, detailing the revisions they have made to the article.
  3. The authorship has not changed since the last version was submitted, or if the authorship has changed, the authors have provided evidence from all previous authors that they agree to the change
  4. The authors have indicated that they would like gold open access
Revised protocol, review or update submittedME or editorial team member

ME Acceptance Check 

Quality assessment of sign-off of final version before copy edit
  1. The “Contributions of authors” section is complete and all authors are included.
  2. The Declarations of Interest have been refreshed in Editorial Manager, and if any new interests have been declared, they are not prohibitive, and the author group is in compliance with the policy. 
  3. The statements in the “Declarations of interest” section in the article match the statements in the declaration of interest forms, and if not, an updated statement has been added to the ‘Production notes’ in Editorial Manager for the copy-editor to add during copy-editing.
  4. Any peer-reviewers who have requested to be acknowledged have been added to the “Acknowledgements” section, and their names and institutions have been correctly spelled. 
  5. Any other person acknowledged by name in the “Acknowledgements” section has given permission to be acknowledged (evidence supplied), and their names have been correctly spelled.
  6. Where an author is a member of the editorial team, a statement has been added to the ‘Declarations of Interest' section stating that the author was not involved in the editorial process.
  7. Where an author is a member of the editorial team, the steps taken to ensure the independence of the editorial process has been stated. Recommended text for the “Acknowledgments” section of all articles, clarifying the role of editors and peer-reviewers, is available in RevMan protocol templates and in Editors or editorial staff as authors page of the Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource (EPPR).
  8. Any figures that are not original (reproduced from elsewhere) have the appropriate permissions to reproduce submitted by the authors.
  9. Any standard statements from Cochrane Review Group funders have been included in the “Sources of support” section.
  10. Any funding for the article noted in the Declarations of interest forms has been included in the “Sources of support” section. 
  11. All highlighting and Track Changes have been removed.
Final version of protocol, review or update submittedME or editorial team member (Sign-off editor)