How do we decide which reviews to do

When the group was first set up, we focussed on supporting review author teams who came forward with a clinical question that they wished to answer.  This reflects the ethos of the Cochrane collaboration of working with enthusiasm and interests of individuals. We still accept titles in this way but with the following provisos:

  • We require evidence that the title addresses an important uncertainty to one or more identified user groups.
  • We have found that “empty” reviews (i.e. reviews that contain no relevant trials), are perceived to be less helpful to many clinicians, except where they indicate that a new trial or study is needed or that there is little justification for healthcare reimbursement. For this reason, we discourage reviews where it is known ahead of time that no relevant trial exists, unless there is good reason to proceed.

We are also working towards doing reviews that have been identified by formal prioritisation processes, including reviews that have been identified as important questions by clinical guidelines developers.

The CEV US satellite has developed a framework for prioritising comparative effectiveness research, using the example of glaucoma. The results of this project are published here.

Members of CEV editorial base were involved in the James Lind Alliance Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership . A survey in the UK in 2012 asked patients, carers and eye health professionals to identify unanswered questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sight loss and eye conditions. The full report of this project can be downloaded here.

We are also prioritising a number of key reviews that are relevant to the production of cataract and macular degeneration guidelines by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK.

If you would like to suggest review titles or topics for us to prioritise in the future, please email your suggestions to Please explain why the topic or title is important.