Further guidance for CRGs on the number and expertise of peer reviewers, including inviting those involved in included or excluded studies to become peer reviewers, can be found in the accompanying guidance; see Number and expertise of peer reviewers (implementation information).
Recruiting peer reviewers through TaskExchange
TaskExchange is now being used as the vehicle to find new peer and consumer peer reviewers. There is no expectation that it must be used to advertise all peer review tasks, or that MEs cannot choose from an existing pool of peer reviewers. For consumer peer reviewers, TaskExchange is the best place to look as the consumer mailing list is now discontinued, and the Consumer Network is asking its members to sign up to TaskExchange to identify consumer peer review opportunities. Again, if you have an existing pool of consumers it is fine to continue using them. With its network of clinical specialists and methodologists, you can use TaskExchange to search for all your peer reviewers in one place.
If people contact your Group asking about relevant peer review opportunities, you can also point them towards TaskExchange to complete their profile. This is the route for potential peer reviewers that is being sign-posted on the Cochrane website: https://www.cochrane.org/join-cochrane/become-peer-reviewer.
Declarations of potential conflicts of interest for peer reviewers
Any concerns or disagreements concerning the peer review process should be resolved by the CRG. When necessary, the CRG can request that peer reviewers provide more evidence for their comments, solicit the opinion of other peer reviewers, involve the DTA Editorial team, or invite additional peer reviewers, as appropriate, to help resolve conflict. Note that authors are required to respond to peer reviewers’ comments adequately; see Collating and addressing peer review comments).
If the CRG is unable to resolve concerns or disagreements, the case may be escalated by either the authors or the CRG, using the to the Cochrane Library appeals process or complaints procedure, as appropriate.