Resources for Authors

There are a number of resources available to help you write your review, which we have grouped here for easy reference.

Articles and manuals to help you write your review

To help improve the quality of Cochrane reviews, committees within the organization have collaborated to develop a number of supportive documents. 

The Cochrane Back and Neck Review Group has also developed criteria for reviews completed under their scope. They are meant to build on, rather than replace, those developed by Cochrane. These references are sent to new review teams once a title has been registered.

Good practice guidance

CEU good practice guidance

Common errors and good practice

Common errors in summary of findings tables

Good practice resources for new authors

Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR)

The Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) ensure that methodological expectations for Cochrane Protocols, Reviews, and updates of reviews are supported and implemented across Cochrane groups. They provide authors and users of the Cochrane Library with clear and transparent expectations of review conduct and reporting. These standards enable Cochrane Review Groups to hold authors accountable during the editorial process, and facilitate support and monitoring by the Cochrane Editorial Unit (CEU). All new and updated CBN reviews are expected to conform to MECIR standards. 

Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) Standards for the conduct and reporting of new Cochrane Intervention Reviews, reporting of protocols and the planning, conduct and reporting of updates

Standards for the reporting of plain language summaries in new Cochrane intervention reviews 

How to write a plain language summary of a Cochrane review

Cochrane Style Manual

Click here for the basics and here for the full manual.

Guidelines

Furlan et al.
2015 Updated Method Guideline for Systematic Reviews in the
Cochrane Back and Neck Group
.
Spine,
2015 Nov;40(21):1660
-
73
Furlan et al.
2015 Updated Method Guideline for Systematic Reviews in the
Cochrane Back and Neck Group
.
Spine,
2015 Nov;40(21):1660
-
73

All reviews must conform with the most recent version of the Back and Neck Review Group's method guidelines:

Furlan et al. 2015 Updated Method Guideline for Systematic Reviews in the Cochrane Back and Neck Group. Spine, 2015 Nov;40(21):1660-73. (PubMed)

Additional resources:

Background 

Deyo R et al. Outcome Measures for Low Back Pain Research. A Proposal for Standardized Use. Spine 1998; 23(18): 2003-2013.

van Tulder MW, Suttorp M, Morton S, Bouter LM, Shekelle P. Empirical evidence of an association between internal validity and effect size in randomized controlled trials of low-back pain. Spine 2009; 34(16):1685-1692.

Risk of Bias Assessment 

Atkins D, et al. Grading quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. BMJ 2004; 7454:1490.

Bombardier C, Hayden J, and Beaton DE. Minimally clinically important difference. Low back pain: outcome measures. J Rheumatol 2001;2001 Feb;28:431-8.

Boutron I, Moher D, Tugwell P et al. A checklist to evaluate a report of a nonpharmacological trial (CLEAR NPT) was developed using consensus. J Clin Epidemiol 2005;58:1233-40.

Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. 1 ed. New York, San Francisco, London: Academic press, 1988:1-474.

Farrar JT, Young JP, Jr., LaMoreaux L, Werth JL, and Poole RM. Clinical importance of changes in chronic pain intensity measured on an 11-point numerical pain rating scale. Pain 2001;2001 Nov;94:149-58.

Ostelo RW, Deyo RA, Stratford P et al. Interpreting change scores for pain and functional status in low back pain: towards international consensus regarding minimal important change. Spine 2008;33:90-4.

Pool JJ, Ostelo RW, Hoving JL, Bouter LM, and de Vet HC. Minimal clinically important change of the Neck Disability Index and the Numerical Rating Scale for patients with neck pain. Spine 2007;32:3047-51.

Shekelle PG, Andersson G, Bombardier C, Cherkin D , Deyo R, and Keller R. A brief introduction to the critical reading of the clinical literature. Spine 1994;19: 2028S-31S.

Stratford PW, Riddle DL, Binkley JM, Spadoni G, Westaway MD, and Padfield. Using the Neck Disability Index to make decisions concerning individual patients. Physiotherapy Canada 1999;Spring 1999:107-19.

Updates

Stovold E, Beecher D, Foxlee R, Noel-Storr A. Study flow diagrams in Cochrane systematic review updates: an adapted PRISMA flow diagram. Systematic Reviews 2014, 3:54. (open access)