Methods used in reviews


We have split the information regarding the methods used in our reviews into the following subcategories:

- Search methods
- Handsearching
- Study selection
- Assessment of the included studies
- Data collection
- Analysis
- Selective reporting bias


Cochrane has created a set of standards for the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Intervention Reviews, referred to as ‘MECIR’ (Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews). These have recently been updated and they have added two new sets of standards to cover the reporting of protocols and the planning, conduct and reporting of updates.

They are available to download from the Cochrane Methods website: The Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre has also translated the conduct and reporting standards into Spanish:

The reporting standards complement work that has already identified standards for the conduct of our reviews.

MECIR Standards are also now available in an online format. Individual standards are linked to resources that aid explanation and assist in implementing the standard. They currently include: Handbook sections or Chapters, training resources and screening notes. They will add to and update these resources. 

Reporting of reviews

Authors are encouraged to refer to other systematic reviews in the Cochrane Library where this is relevant especially to the Background text of the review or in the Discussion. This also has important implications for improving the Impact Factor of the collaboration.

We encourage authors to publish their reviews in print journals or books; however, we ask that authors contact the Cochrane Skin Group when considering publishing in another journal. Many other journals allow dual publication of systematic reviews in the Cochrane Library and their journal. We ask all authors to publish their review on the Cochrane Library before publishing in another journal or to arrange "simultaneous" publication.

Please refer to the CSG's guide to co-publication for further information on this subject.