Propose a title



Cochrane has guidelines for titles. The title should succinctly state the focus of the review, the intervention(s) reviewed and the problem at which the intervention is directed. Someone scanning the title should be able to decide quickly whether the review addresses their question of interest.

In most instances, a title should follow the structure "Intervention for condition". Other structures are described in the Style Guidelines for Cochrane Reviews. Specific outcomes are usually not included in the title; if they are, they should be listed as a subtitle separated by a colon from the main title. See the The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions for more details.

The Title Proposal Checklist and Forms for intervention reviews are available to download on our Forms page.


The scope of Cochrane Back and Neck (CBN) includes primary and secondary prevention and treatment of neck and back pain and other spinal disorders, excluding inflammatory diseases and fractures. The evidence is gathered from randomized controlled trials or from controlled clinical trials (RCTs) that compare one or more intervention groups to one or more comparison (control) groups.

Reviews examining interventions for fractures or inflammatory diseases are generally covered by the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group and the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group, respectively. CBN considers reviews covering the following areas to be within our scope.


The CBN Review Process

Once the Managing Editor receives a completed title proposal form from a review author, she checks to see if the proposed review falls within the scope of CBN, the review team seems to have the right mix of individuals (see Review Teams, below) and if a similar topic has already been proposed by another team. If it looks like it meets these criteria, the title proposal is forwarded to the Editorial Team for comment and approval.

Once the title is accepted by the Editorial Team, the Managing Editor registers the title and notifies the lead author.

Once the title is registered, the review team has up to six months to write and submit the protocol. Failure to do so may result in the title being withdrawn from the list of registered titles, and the topic being freed up again for other authors.

CBN editors evaluate the proposed title using the following criteria:

  • the topic of the review is within the scope of CBN
  • the rationale for doing the review is clear and well-grounded
  • completion of the review appears feasible
  • the reviewers have an appropriate mix of skills and support to undertake the review, they are committed to keeping the review up to date, and, in keeping with the philosophy of Cochrane there is multidisciplinary and multi-national representation on the team
  • a contact person is identified who will take primary responsibility for the review
  • a target date is included for completion of the protocol.

Review authors will be notified within a few weeks of the editors' decision to accept or reject a title.

Once the editors approve the title, the Managing Editor will register the title and lead review author using an online service that in turn informs the Cochrane Review Groups, Fields, Networks and Centres of the registration. This provides the opportunity for other groups to check for overlap and common interest within Cochrane.

Review teams

To support the multinational, multidisciplinary spirit of Cochrane, improve the chances of completing and updating the review, and decrease the potential for bias, the review team should include at least three authors, who among them have expertise in methods of systematic reviews and the content area under review, and represent at least two nationalities. Preferably, teams should include authors from developing countries. Members of the review team who are also authors of included trials must not appraise the methodological quality or extract data from their own trials. They must state their authorship as a potential source of conflict.