Resources for review authors

General Information from the Cochrane Website


Getting involved as a Review Author: If you have expertise in some aspect of healthcare, consider joining the relevant Cochrane Review Group. If there is not yet a group which covers your specialty, register your interest in being part of a new group. Being part of a Cochrane review group provides the support, resources and training to tackle a systematic review, and an international audience when your work is published in The Cochrane Library.


Training - face-to-face

Contact Cochrane Centres or Review Groups about local workshops and courses in review production. Some of these events are listed on the Cochrane workshops page.

Training - online

  • Open Learning Materials - learn the steps in convenient online modules which supplement the Cochrane Reviewers' Handbook in helping you gain skills and complete your review.

Training resources provided by other organizations:


Methods used in reviews

Search strategies

Access to specialised register by reviewers

The CHMG specialised register is regularly updated. Searching in the specialised register can be arranged by contacting the Trial Search Coordinator.
The register is also available for searching on the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in the Cochrane Library by using the term SR-HAEMATOL. 

Additional search strategies

Each review author should contact the Trials Search Coordinator for assistance in developing a search strategy for their review (

Reviewers are also advised to:
1. Search specialised databases, conference proceedings and bibliographies of relevant papers in their topic area
2. Contact authors of trials and/or reviews relevant to their review topic to request further information.
3. Contact pharmaceutical industries to request information on data from commercial trials
4. Search for ongoing trials via

Study selection

Selection of studies should be carried according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

Assessment of methodological quality

To assess quality and risk of bias, a questionnaire containing the items as suggested in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions should be used. 

Data collection

Data should be collected according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. It is strongly recommended that more than one person extract data from every report to minimize errors.


Meta-analytic techniques are recommended when results from more than one trial are available and it is appropriate to combine them. Statistical methods used to combine studies should be stated in the protocol.

It is suggested that one review author enters the data into RevMan and another person checks the data carefully.

For more information see Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.

Reporting of reviews

Reviews will comment on the strength of the results in terms of the size of the treatment effect and the degree of confidence that can be placed in this estimate. The results of findings will be discussed, if necessary using non-RCT data to provide an adequate description of the clinical context. The discussion and conclusion section should be limited to matters of fact and not opinion. Comments on the applicability of the results should be limited, as the interpretation will vary for different readers. It is important, however, to comment on outcomes that were not measured in the primary studies. Where possible, review authors will include data on the potential harms and benefits of the interventions as costs if available.