Publish a review

Completing and submitting the review is the third step in the publication process. A review should:

  • Build on the published version of the protocol
  • Outline the results of the literature search
  • Detail the methodological quality of the included studies
  • Give the estimate of effects of the intervention for the various comparisons and outcomes identified in the protocol
  • Give as much detail as possible on any side effects of the intervention
  • Discuss the implications of the research and results
  • State conclusions of the review - for clinicians and researchers.

If they have not yet done so, new authors may now find it helpful to attend a Reviewer Training workshop that focuses on analysis and review completion. 

The team may also find it helpful to review again the materials forwarded by CBN Managing Editor, available in our Links section. Other resources can be found on the Cochrane website.

These materials include:

You can also find up-to-date training resources at, including links to the Cochrane Training website, new online learning materials and webinars, information on how to register a title, how to fill out the online Licence for Publication forms and more.

Remember that your review must be submitted to CBN Managing Editor in RevMan. Check the Review Manager page to make sure you have the most current version, and, if you have not used RevMan lately, you may find it helpful to spend some time re-familiarizing yourself with it before starting. Please do not hesitate to contact CBN Managing Editor if you are still experiencing problems.

The CBN Review Process

Once she receives the completed review, the Managing Editor will send it to one member of the Editorial Board and two members of the Associate Editorial Board to be refereed (evaluated).

Once all comments are received from the referees, the Managing Editor will summarize them and forward them to the lead author. This should take six to eight weeks, depending on time of year and length of the manuscript. It is then up to the review team to draft a written response to the editors' comments, revise the review as necessary, and return the revised review and their responses to the Managing Editor. This package is then circulated to the co-ordinating editors for review and comment. When they are satisfied with the product, they will give publication approval.

If review authors have concerns about suggestions and decisions, the matter can be referred to the co-ordinating editors, or in extreme cases, to the Publication Arbiter.

Copy editing of the review is done at the co-ordinating office, but review authors are asked to refer to the Cochrane Style Guide before their final submission.

The Managing Editor will send the lead author an official notification of publication and the published RevMan version of the review. Review authors are asked to use this version when they update the review. All review authors are required to complete a 'Permission to Publish' form through the Archie system.

CBN has an agreement with Spine to facilitate the co-publication of approved CBN systematic reviews. Review authors who are interested in pursuing this opportunity are encouraged to contact the Managing Editor for further information.

Once the review has been approved, it may be referred to as a Cochrane Review. The review team has two years to submit an updated review. Reviews are considered to be updated if the literature search has been updated, even if no new studies have been identified.

Review authors who fail to update a review within two years will no longer receive a free copy of the Cochrane Library. In addition, the review may be withdrawn from the Cochrane Library, or the title may be re-assigned to a new team of authors.