Preparing Cochrane Reviews for submission, editing and publication: common errors and how to solve them
Background: All Cochrane Reviews and protocols are copy-edited by Cochrane's Production Service (CPS) before publication to improve clarity, consistency, accuracy and completeness. Any improvements that can be made to reviews earlier in the process will:
- improve overall author, editor and copy editor experience;
- reduce handling time;
- reduce time between submission and publication;
- improve the final quality of published reviews;
- make reviews more accessible to readers - including patients and healthcare consumers - and thus
- increase their use and implementation.
The CPS team has identified a number of errors and issues that appear regularly in traditional reviews that will inform our workshop.
Objectives: To equip attendees to identify and correct – and so avoid – common errors in reviews and protocols prior to submission and copy-editing.
Description: The workshop will cover several common errors, covering elements of structure, formatting, style and consistency. Attendees will be talked through a variety of issues and then work either individually, or in small groups, on real-life exercises to help them to understand and master each point. We will discuss the answers and options for each within the workshop. We will discuss the appropriate use of resources, such as the Cochrane Style Manual, MECIR (Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews)/PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidance, and the new Plain Language Summary requirements (introduced in 2021), alongside copy-editing checklists and other resources. Before the workshop, participants will be asked to submit examples of review text that have caused them concern during the course of preparing Cochrane Reviews for submission or copy-editing, and a selection of these will be used as practical, hands-on examples. During the workshop we will identify areas where further guidance or additional resources would be helpful, which will inform future developments. Come and share your top tips for producing good content with people who care about making reviews the best they can be before submission and publication!