We would encourage anyone interested in preparing a Cochrane Review to first become a member with Cochrane. See here on how to Join Cochrane and what's in it for you. Once you become a member, you will have access to Cochrane's Review author start kit. We suggest that you read the Proposing and registering new Cochrane Reviews.
Once you have read the above and have identified a review title, you should contact Anupa Shah, the Managing Editor of the Group.
Once the title has been approved by the editorial base, the Managing Editor will send a Review Proposal Form to the person taking the lead for the review (Contact Person). A potential author is given six weeks to complete and return the Review Proposal Form. If after this time, the form has not been returned, the title is released for someone else to take on. The completed form will then be discussed at the editorial base and approved. It is CEV policy that there should be a minimum of three authors on the review team; one of which has to be a content expert and one has to be a statistician.
Once the title has been registered with Cochrane through Archie (Cochrane's central server for managing and storing documents), it will appear on Archie, the Group's website as well as under the list of Cochrane Reviews on Cochrane's website. The title will be circulated to all other Groups to avoid duplication.
If more than one person independently proposes doing the same review we will ask each individual to collaborate on the review. If appropriate, we may suggest that the topic is dealt with by two or more related reviews. If neither of these options is appropriate or desirable, we will request that one author selects an alternative topic.
A contact editor will be assigned to the review (if one has not been assigned). The Managing Editor will inform the Contact Person of the review team that the title has been registered and will send them an email with information on how to get started on writing the protocol, where to obtain support materials and agreed deadlines. Archie accounts will be set up for the whole review team at this point.
New authors are encouraged to attend a protocol workshop organised by their supporting Cochrane Centre.
CEV expects a first draft of a protocol to be submitted to the editorial base three months after title registration and the protocol to be published within six months of title registration. If these deadlines are not met (or an extension agreed with the Editorial base), the title will be de-registered and will be available for a new team to take up. The review should be published within two years of the protocol being published. If it is not, then CEV will withdraw the protocol from the Cochrane Library.
Authors are also encouraged to review Cochrane's Rejection of Cochrane Reviews policy as Cochrane Eyes and Vision will reject a protocol or review at any stage for one or more of the following reasons: poor quality; agreed timelines not met; evidence that the author team lacks the core competencies to complete the review; concerns about conflict of interest or other aspects of publication ethics.