Reviews are now updated based on need and the priorities of the group. Before your review is published, the editorial office will discuss a plan for when the review should be updated using the decision framework from the Updating Classification System as a guide.
Methods and publishing standards of Cochrane and Cochrane Back and Neck (CBN) change over time. Please explore the section on Resources for Authors or on Cochrane's website for tools to update your review. The lead author should notify the editorial office when planning to update the review and should consider the following issues:
- Are there at least three authors on the review team?
- Is there someone on the team with expertise in methods of systematic reviews and the content area under review (e.g. physician for medications)?
- Are at least two nationalities represented on the team?
- Does the team need new members in order to complete the task?
- Are the inclusion criteria for studies still appropriate? Do they need to be updated?
- Is the search strategy still appropriate or should it be updated?
- Does the review need to be updated in accordance with updated CBN methodological criteria?
- If no new trials are identified and no changes are requested by the editors or CBN Managing Editor, then the review can be simply updated in RevMan by inserting the date on which the literature search was completed into the 'What's New-dates' section; and indicating in the 'What's New-Notes' section exactly what was done and the results. The updated review should then be forwarded to CBN Managing Editor.
- If new trials are identified, ongoing trials that were identified in the original review have been published, or other changes are required, the review team should analyze the issues outlined above, develop a plan for proceeding, and notify CBN Managing Editor of this plan.
- Review authors should update the review within 6 to 12 months of updating the literature search, depending on the number of new studies to be incorporated and the extent of changes to the manuscript.
- Depending on the extent of changes, the manuscript may be refereed by the same process as a new review. See Publish a Review for details.