Cochrane has agreed standards for the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Reviews of interventions. These standards specify the core attributes of Cochrane Reviews on the effects of interventions. They provide authors and users of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews with clear and transparent expectations of review conduct and reporting.
Cochrane Review Groups will also be able to use them to evaluate reviews during the editorial process and facilitate support. Each standard is given a status of either mandatory (defined as compliance required for publication) or highly desirable (defined as expected but may be justifiably not done). The standards and additional information are available at methods.cochrane.org/mecir.
The Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) is split into four parts:
- Standards for the conduct of new Cochrane Intervention reviews
- Standards for reporting of protocols of new Cochrane Intervention reviews
- Standards for reporting of new Cochrane Intervention reviews
- Standards for planning, conduct and reporting of updates of Cochrane Intervention reviews.
The standards are compliant with the PRISMA standards with, currently, the exception of item 1 on the checklist: ‘Title: identify the report as a systematic review, meta-analysis, or both’. Review authors and Cochrane Review Groups are expected to follow the standards developed specifically for Cochrane Reviews, in conjunction with PRISMA should that prove to be helpful.