Conducting a Cochrane Methods Peer Review – Good Practice and Common Challenges
Jennifer Hilgart, Cochrane
Liz Bickerdike, Cochrane Central Editorial Service
Cochrane is moving towards a central editorial service that clearly separates author and editorial roles in the evidence synthesis production model. As part of this process, the Cochrane Central Editorial Service sends every Cochrane review for consumer, clinical, search and methods peer review prior to publication. This robust process ensures that evidence published is accurate, reliable and useable. To ensure that this process remains efficient and useful for authors and results in high-quality systematic reviews, the peer reviewer reports should be of the highest standard, clear, consistent, and appropriately worded.
Objectives: The objectives of this workshop are to highlight good practice in the creation of Cochrane Methods Peer Review reports; to provide practical, hands-on guidance to help editors identify and address common challenges during the peer review process; and to discuss the current opportunities available for getting involved in conducting editorial peer review.
Description: The workshop will begin with a brief PowerPoint presentation, introducing the methods peer review process conducted by the Central Editorial Service, highlighting the key features of a good practice peer review report, and providing an overview of the most common challenges currently facing editors during the peer review process. The issues discussed will include (i) how to differentiate between when authors have made an objective error that requires ‘correction’ and a subjective decision that requires clearer ‘justification’, (ii) appropriate and consistent wording of the comments, and (iii) how to deliver consistent and appropriate recommendations on whether each article should be rejected, accepted or revised. Following this, the attendees will work in small groups with the facilitators to identify challenges in some real-life examples and discuss the best way to rectify and ultimately avoid the issues. The workshop will conclude with an open discussion regarding the current opportunities available to authors and editors who are interested in getting more involved in the editorial peer review process.