Cochrane Review Process

Undertaking the Cochrane Review Process:

Welcome! We hope you are considering writing a systematic review with the Cochrane Fertility Regulation Group. The following page outlines the steps and the timeline involved in writing a systematic review from start to finish. Please feel free to contact us with any questions at all!   

Title Registration:

The first order of business involves submitting a review proposal form to Titles must be registered with the editorial base using a standard form, to prevent possible wasted time and duplication of effort if more than one person unknowingly embarks on the same review. You need a team of at least two authors, one content expert and one methodologist. Information about Cochrane authorship teams can be found here and here. All titles will be reviewed by members of the editorial team and considered for their potential overlap, mixture of expertise, feasibility and suitability for a systematic review. This process should take no longer than two weeks. The Cochrane Handbook will be very useful now, and throughout the entire writing process. We recommend becoming familiar with it. 



Upon approval, you and your team of authors are responsible for writing a protocol within six months of title approval. Protocols are written in either the RevMan5 software or RevMan Web. You can gain access by using your Archie log on, the Cochrane Collaboration’s central server for managing and storing documents and contact details. RevMan and Archie are connected, allowing to information to be shared access the two platforms. Once your title has been approved, the FRG will create an Archie log on for everyone on the authorship team. Be sure to edit your name, degree, and affiliations as you would like them published. Attached here are some Top Tips for using Archie and RevMan. RevMan is a living document, so if you would prefer to work in a word document we have attached a template here to fill-in, with what is expected in each section here. You then can go into Revman and copy/paste each section into the appropriate area. Revman and Archie allow for authors to share and store updates online with each other. This checklist is designed to help authors complete the Cochrane Protocol. 



We recommend that you do not start your review until your protocol has been approved. Covidence, is the platform that will allow you to view abstracts and full texts for your review. Our information specialist will work with you to hone in on the most appropriate search for your topic. You and your team will then assess if these reports will be included, excluded, an ongoing study, or an additional report of a study. Once the search is done, it is important that you get to work on your review, as we do not want the search to go out of date. You can develop your final review by checking it in/out in RevMan. Every Cochrane Review includes a Plain Language Summary (PLS), the guidelines are attached here. The Cochrane Norway has developed a guide on How to a write a Plain Language Summary and a checklist. We encourage for you to utilize these resources as you write your PLS.      

We use the GRADE approach, the GRADEpro software, to assess the quality of the evidence and prepare a Summary of findings (SoF) table to import into your review.

Use this checklist for assitance in completing your Cochrane Review.  



It is the author’s responsibility to conduct one updated review in light of new evidence, comments, and/or criticisms and other developments. Our Information Specialist will run an updated search and add the references into your RevMan file. You will have the opportunity to work on continual updates and maintenance of the review, though will no longer be your sole responsibly after the first update.