Preparing for submitting your manuscript to the Cochrane’s Central Editorial Service for Peer Review – observations from the Central Editorial Service Quality Assurance Team
Cochrane has recently been moving towards a Central Editorial Service that clearly separates review development roles (e.g., authoring/author support) from the 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 Cochrane reviews are accurate, reliable, and useable. However, the editorial process is often delayed, or the manuscript rejected because methodological and reporting issues are identified during peer review. Authors and editors should be aware of the most common errors noted during the methods peer review process to help them identify, rectify, and ultimately avoid making these errors.
Objectives: The objectives of this workshop are: to highlight common methodological and reporting errors made in Cochrane Systematic Reviews; to provide practical, hands on guidance to help authors and editors address these errors; 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, and providing an overview of common errors identified during this process. The errors discussed will include (i) inappropriate prioritisation of comparisons and outcomes across the different sections of the review, (ii) inconsistent consideration of all 5 GRADE domains during the certainty of evidence assessment, and (iii) overinterpretation of the results leading to misleading and inappropriate conclusions. Following this, the attendees will work in small groups with the facilitators to identify these errors in some real-life examples and discuss the best way to rectify or 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.