The Central Editorial Service: who we are, what we do, and what happens to your draft after submission

Session Type
Oral presentation
Editorial processes and supporting review authors
Wakeford H1, Livingstone N1, Kellie F1
1Cochrane Central Executive Team, UK

Background Cochrane has embarked on an important change programme to transform the way we produce high-quality, independent, and timely evidence. By the end of 2023 the editorial process for all submitted protocols, reviews and updates will be managed centrally by the Central Editorial Service. Objectives To explain the rationale for and workings of the Central Editorial Service for both prospective authors and members of Cochrane entities. Description The Central Editorial Service currently handles the editorial process for most drafts submitted for publication in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR). This will progress to all content from 31 December 2023. The separation of the process of producing Cochrane Reviews from the editorial process to assess their suitability for publication represents a major structural and cultural change for Cochrane. The opportunity to speak to the Cochrane Community members in person, with the opportunity to ask questions, is an important part of this change management. This talk will explain the rationale for the Central Editorial Service, with a focus on editorial independence, standardisation and efficiency. This will also be an opportunity to clearly explain the difference between the Central Editorial Service and a Cochrane Review Group, which remains an understandable source of confusion for many Cochrane contributors. The presentation will explain the editorial process from submission, editorial assessment and peer review, to the final editorial decision. It will cover the number of rounds of revision permitted in the editorial process, the points at which a manuscript may be rejected, and the standards by which submissions are assessed. We will present recent statistics on editorial timelines and the current acceptance/rejection rate. Depending on the time available, we would also like to cover some of the most common reasons for rejection decisions, and signpost to other Colloquium talks and resources that may assist authors in avoiding these pitfalls. The presentation will end with an open Q&A session to respond to audience queries.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: An author representative will be present for the Q&A session. Consumer peer reviewers are engaged for each manuscript submitted to the Central Editorial Service.

Colloquium 2023 Abstract - Central Editorial Service Oral Presentation.pdf