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The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) is a peer-reviewed publication, which means that every Cochrane Review is evaluated by one or more specialists external to the Cochrane Review Group (CRG) editorial team before publication, and the Cochrane Review authors have the opportunity to revise the Cochrane Review in response to feedback. The peer reviewed status of all types of article published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) is outlined below.

Peer review of new Cochrane Reviews

All new Cochrane Reviews are peer reviewed before publication. CRGs are responsible for managing this process and make the final decision on whether the Cochrane Review is ready for publication. 

Peer review of updated Cochrane Reviews

The decision as to whether an updated Cochrane Review should be peer reviewed is decided according to the circumstances outlined in Figures 1 and 2. In some cases, selective peer review will be appropriate, involving only peer reviewers with specific skills or peer review of selected parts of the review, and in other cases no peer review will be required. In all cases the updated Cochrane Review will undergo rigorous assessment by members of the CRG editorial team. 


Figure 2: Decision flowchart for the peer review of updates of Cochrane Reviews

Figure 2

Cochrane Reviews of diagnostic test accuracy

All Cochrane Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA Reviews) are peer reviewed before publication. CRGs organize peer review of the DTA Review by consumers and professional specialists; the Cochrane DTA editorial team organize methodological peer review by a methodologist, a statistician, and an information specialist with expertise in DTA review methods. All correspondence with the authors is through the CRG. All revisions must be seen and approved by the DTA editorial team. The final decision on whether the Cochrane DTA Review is ready for publication is made by both the CRG and DTA Editorial Team together; DTA Reviews only progress to publication when both the CRG and the DTA Editorial Team are in agreement.

Peer review of Cochrane editorials

Editorials may be peer reviewed, at the discretion of the Editor in Chief. The peer review process for editorials is managed by the Editorial & Methods Department. Published editorials include a 'Provenance and peer review' statement that indicates whether an editorial has been peer reviewed.

Peer review of supplements

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews supplements may be peer reviewed, at the discretion of the Supplement Editor and/or Editor in Chief. Supplements include a statement to indicate whether the supplement, or sections of the supplement, have been peer reviewed.