Validation report

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Validation errors and warnings are only relevant to Cochrane authors submitting reviews to Cochrane. RevMan subscribers can disregard validation errors and warnings. 

Validation report

The validation report shows you discrepancies between your review and Cochrane standards for a review.

These can be defined as Errors or Warnings. Errors MUST be addressed before submission, as you will not be able to submit your Cochrane Review to Editorial Manager with errors present. All warnings should also be checked, with reference to editorial policy as required.

You can see validation errors and warnings relevant to your review on the Dashboard. Expand or collapse the Validation menu to view further details.

In Intervention and flexible reviews, validation errors and warnings are also visible in the right-hand Context pane. Use the links to navigate to the next issue you need to address. 




Validation rules


Validation errors and warnings are generated dynamically depending on the specific content of the review, and so the below list is not exhaustive - rules not in this list may still apply


 

Type

Section

Validation rule

Review stage

Description

1

Error

Abstract

Abstract cannot exceed 1000 words.

R

The abstract cannot be longer than 1000 words (word count: [count])

2

Error

Figures

Figure should be linked from text.

P + R

Figure is not linked from the text.

3

Error

Additional table

Table should be linked from the text.

P + R

Table is not linked from the text.

4

Error

Analysis

An active choice of labels for graph axes is required. 

R

The default graph label 'Favours [experimental]' must be changed.

5

Error

Dates

Date of Search cannot be empty.

R

Date of search is empty.

6

Error

Plain language summary

Summary cannot exceed 850 words.

R

The plain language summary cannot be longer than 850 words (word count: [count])

7

Error

Published notes

Cannot be empty for withdrawn reviews.

P+R

Published notes do not contain the reason for withdrawal. Provide a brief explanation of why the review was retracted. See Withdrawing articles published in the CDSR.

8

Error

Summary title

Default text '[Summary title]' should be modified.

R

The plain language summary title is empty.

9

Error

Analysis

Synthesis PICO not completed.

P+R

Synthesis PICO is not completed. The review cannot be checked in until outcome and interventions have been specified.

10

Error

What's new

Section cannot be empty unless protocol or review is new. See also What’s new events.

P+R

What's new is empty.

12

Error

Differences between the protocol and review

Field cannot be empty.

R

Differences between protocol and review is empty.

13

Error

Main text sections

Mandatory text sections (depending on stage) cannot be empty. See full list of validation of text sections below. 

P+R

[Section] is empty.

14

Error

Event

Only events relevant to the current stage are allowed.

P+R

Event is not allowed at [Protocol/Full review] stage.

15

Error

Event

Description cannot be empty.

P + R

Description is empty.

16

Error

Dates

Date of Search cannot be in the future.

R

Date of Search is in the future.

17

Error

Dichotomous study data

Events <= Total

R

The number of events cannot be larger than the number of totals.

18

Error

What's new

Section cannot be empty unless protocol or review is new. See also What’s new events.

P + R

More than one declaration event ('New citation' or 'No longer being updated').

19

Error

Event

Withdrawn reviews only support Amended events. 

R

Withdrawn reviews only support Amended events.

20ErrorWhat's newIf an Updated event is present, there must be a New citation event. See also What’s new events.RAn updated event is present without declaring a new citation.
21ErrorDatesAssessed as Up-to-date cannot be empty.RAssessed as Up-to-date is empty.
22Error

Included study, Excluded study

Study should have at least one reference.

R

If a Study ID is inserted in the References to studies section, a reference must be added

23Error

Included study

All included studies must be cited in the main article.

R

Included study not cited in the main article, including additional tables. 

24ErrorDatesAssessed as Up-to-date cannot be in the future.RAssessed as Up-to-date is in the future.

34

Error

Reference

All fields should not be empty at the same time.

P+R

Reference is empty.

35

Error

Reference

Required fields should not be empty.

P+R

[Field name] is empty.

36

Error

What's new

If a New citation event is present, there should usually also be an Updated event. See also What’s new events.

R

A new citation is declared without the review being updated

25

Warning

Studies

All fields in study characteristics should not be empty at the same time.

R

Study characteristics are missing.

26

Warning

Additional reference

Reference should be linked from the text.

P+R

Reference is not linked from the text.

27

Warning

Figures

The recommended Number of figures has been exceeded.

 P+R

The recommended maximum number of figures (6) has been exceeded - please remove [n].

28WarningFiguresOther figures must contain an image file.  P+RNo file uploaded for figure [n]
29WarningFiguresOther figures should be more than 500 pixels wideP+ROther figures should be more than 500 pixels wide

37

Warning

Cochrane review reference, Cochrane protocol reference

The DOI identifier should be specified correct.

P + R

DOI should be corrected according to these examples: 10.1002/14651858.CD123456 or 10.1002/14651858.CD123456.pub2

38

Warning

Cochrane review reference, Cochrane protocol reference

SO field should be 'Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews'.

P + R

Journal/Book/Source should be Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

39

Warning

Cochrane review reference, Cochrane protocol reference

Should have DOI identifier.

P + R

DOI is missing.

40

Warning

Comparison

Should not have empty analyses.

R

One or more analyses have no associated study data.

41

Warning

Inverse variance analyses or subgroup

Option to enter number of participants has been selected, but no data have been entered for any studies.

R

The option to enter number of participants has been selected, but no data have been entered.

42

Warning

Other data type analyses

No column heading should be empty.

R

One of the column headings is empty.

43

Warning

What's new

If an Updated event is present, the Date of search should be less than 12 months old. See also What’s new events.

R

The What’s new Event 'Updated' is selected but the Date of search is more than 12 months ago.

44

Warning

Sources of support

Section could not be empty.

P+R

No sources of support listed.

 R= Full Review stage
 P= Protocol stage


Validation of empty text sections 

For full review stage (focused review format):

Error or Warning if empty 

Text section

Error 

(Abstract) Rationale (L2) 

Error 

(Abstract) Objectives 

Error 

(Abstract) Search methods 

Error 

(Abstract) Eligibility criteria 

Error 

(Abstract) Outcomes 

Error 

(Abstract) Risk of bias 

Error 

(Abstract) Synthesis methods 

Error 

(Abstract) Included studies 

Error 

(Abstract) Synthesis of results 

Error 

(Abstract) Authors' conclusions 

Error 

(Abstract) Funding  

Error 

(Abstract) Registration  

Error 

Plain language summary (L1) 

 Error

Plain language summary title  

Warning 

Description of the condition 

Warning 

Description of the intervention and how it might work 

Error 

Why it is important to do this review 

Error 

Objectives (L1) 

Error 

Criteria for considering studies for this review 

Error 

Types of studies (L3) 

Error 

Types of participants (L3) 

Error 

Types of interventions (L3) 

No validation rule? 

Outcome measures (L2) 

Warning 

Critical outcomes (L3) 

Warning 

Important outcomes (L3) 

Error 

Search methods for identification of studies 

Error 

Electronic searches 

Error 

Searching other resources 

Error 

Selection of studies (L3) 

Error 

Data extraction and management (L3) 

Error 

Risk of bias assessment in included studies (L3) 

Error 

Measures of treatment effect (L3) 

Error 

Unit of analysis issues (L3) 

Error 

Dealing with missing data (L3) 

Error 

Reporting bias assessment (L3) 

Error 

Synthesis methods (L3) 

Error 

Investigation of heterogeneity and subgroup analysis (L3) 

Error

Equity-related assessment (L4) 

Error 

Sensitivity analysis (L3) 

Error 

Certainty of the evidence assessment (L3)  

Error 

Consumer involvement 

Error 

Results of the search (L3) 

Error 

Included studies (L3) 

Error 

Excluded studies (L3) 

Error 

Synthesis of results 

Error 

Summary of main results 

Error 

Limitations of the evidence included in the review 

Error 

Limitations of the review processes 

Error 

Agreements and disagreements with other studies or reviews 

Error 

(Authors conclusions) Implications for practice 

Error 

 (Authors conclusions) Implications for research 

Error 

Acknowledgements 

Error 

Contributions of authors 

Error 

Declarations of interest 

Error 

Sources of support 

Error 

Registration and protocol 

Error 

Data, code and other materials 

Error 

What's new 

 

For full review stage (long review format):

Error or warning if emptyText section
Error

(Abstract) Background

Error(Abstract) Objectives
Error(Abstract) Search methods
Error(Abstract) Selection criteria
Error(Abstract) Data collection and analysis
Error(Abstract) Main results
Error(Abstract) Authors' conclusions
ErrorPlain language summary
ErrorObjectives
ErrorTypes of studies
ErrorTypes of participants
ErrorTypes of interventions
ErrorElectronic searches
ErrorSearching other resources
ErrorSelection of studies
ErrorData extraction and management
ErrorAssessment of risk of bias in included studies
ErrorMeasures of treatment effect
ErrorUnit of analysis issues
ErrorDealing with missing data
ErrorAssessment of heterogeneity
ErrorAssessment of reporting biases
ErrorData synthesis
ErrorSubgroup analysis and investigation of heterogeneity
ErrorSensitivity analysis
Error

Summary of findings and assessment of the certainty of the evidence

ErrorResults of the search
ErrorIncluded studies
ErrorExcluded studies
Error (if all subheadings are empty)Risk of bias in included studies
ErrorEffects of interventions
ErrorSummary of main results
ErrorOverall completeness and applicability of evidence
ErrorPotential biases in the review process
ErrorAgreements and disagreements with other studies or reviews
ErrorImplications for practice
ErrorImplications for research
ErrorDifferences between protocol and review
ErrorAcknowledgements
ErrorContributions of authors
ErrorDeclarations of interest
WarningDescription of the condition
WarningDescription of the intervention
WarningHow the intervention might work
WarningWhy it is important to do this review
WarningTypes of outcome measures
WarningPrimary outcomes
WarningSecondary outcomes
WarningDescription of studies
WarningQuality of the evidence
Error if Risk of bias in included studies is empty Allocation (selection bias)
Error if Risk of bias in included studies is empty Blinding (performance bias and detection bias)
Error if Risk of bias in included studies is empty Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias)
Error if Risk of bias in included studies is empty Selective reporting (reporting bias)
Error if Risk of bias in included studies is empty Other potential sources of bias
No validationBackground (top level)
No validationData collection and analysis
No validationDiscussion (top level)