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As a general guideline, where an author made a substantial contribution to a Cochrane Review or protocol for a Cochrane Review (sufficient to warrant authorship) but died before publication, and the co-authors feel it is appropriate to include the deceased author on the byline, then editorial teams could permit inclusion of the author on the byline until the review is updated.

The living authors alternatively may choose to provide an acknowledgment or dedication to their colleague’s contribution.

If the deceased author was also the contact person for protocol or review, a new Contact Person (corresponding author) must be identified from the author team. 

If the deceased author is listed on the byline

Contributorship statement: This should inform readers that the author is deceased, when the author died (e.g. month and year), the author’s contribution to the protocol or review, and whether the living authors made substantive changes to the review beyond the deceased author’s contribution.

Licence for publication form: A signed licence is required, but the licence may be submitted by the corresponding author on the deceased authors’ behalf (provided he/she had the deceased authors’ agreement and consent to publish in advance of their passing).

Declarations of interest: Add the following statement to this section in the Review, “Author deceased; declarations of interest published in the Cochrane Review: “[copy and paste here]”. For a protocol, insert the text, “Author deceased; no declarations of interest available” or “Author deceased; [declarations of interest if provided before the author died]”. The ‘declarations of interest’ form does not need to be completed for the deceased author.

Contact details: Modify contact details so that the published protocol or review will note that the author is deceased and include the name, institution, and country that were correct before they died, delete the rest of their contact details, and put ‘Deceased’ in the footnote field of the author contact details in the review. This is a review-level annotation. If the author in question is included on the byline of more than one review, the same footnote should be included in each of the reviews they authored.

(lightbulb)Archie/RevMan guidance

Managing Editors need to make the following changes:

  1. Insert ‘Deceased’ (without parentheses) in the footnote field of the author’s contact details within the RevMan file of the review. It is important to note that this is a review-level annotation, so if the deceased author is included on the byline of other reviews, the same footnote should be included in the RevMan file of each review they authored. To add the footnote, right-click on the author’s name in RevMan and click Edit to reveal and complete the ‘Footnote:’ field (text box at the bottom of the editing screen).
  2. Republish with the following What’s New events: for a Cochrane Review, select Amended AND New Citation; for a protocol, select Amended AND New Citation: No Major Change.
  3. Change the Group Role for the deceased author to Inactive. To do this open the author's Properties sheet, click on the Roles tab, select Edit and untick the box next to Active. In the Specification field, insert 'Deceased'. Note that when all the person’s entity Roles have been made Inactive, the full Person record will automatically be set to Inactive. If you are the Primary Group for the deceased author, please

    replace the email address with (where XXXXXX is a random string). You can use to generate a random string to ensure the placeholder address is unique. Delete all other contact details, apart from city and country from their Archie record. Please contact all other Groups which have Active Roles for this author and ask them make their Group Role Inactive for this author.

Citations of published Cochrane Reviews (including protocols) include the author names, review title, review publication year and issue, and author contact information. A citation reflects the details at the time of the publication. The following scenarios describe cases where a change may be requested by an author, and actions to take.

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