CIDG specific resources

  • Checklists

These checklists are designed to help authors ensure that their protocols, reviews, or review updates are completed to an acceptable standard for editorial and peer review. Authors are requested to use these checklists before completing the protocol or review.

The completed checklist must accompany the submitted protocol/review.

  • Developing logic models

At the CIDG, we recommend logic models for most of our reviews. They help clarify the background, outcomes, and structuring of the findings.  In this document we provide guidance and example of their use.  If you have new examples or any comments, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Download PDF

  • Search strategy

This guide (PDF) explains the methods used to prepare the search strategy for your Cochrane Review and also how to complete your PRISMA flow chart. Regarding Embase database searches, this document provides the rationale for the CIDG's current approach. Download PDF

References can be imported into Review Manager from EndNote libraries. Instructions for this are given in the following PDF.

The following information may also be of use to you if your review contains studies which are still ongoing or, although completed, have not yet been in a journal.

  • CIDG data collection and analysis content checklist

The CIDG has devised this checklist to help review authors prepare the ‘Data collection and analysis’ section. This checklist should be used alongside the CIDG pre-submission checklists for the protocol and review; however, it is not mandatory to submit the completed version of this methods content checklist. This checklist and guide does not take the place of the Cochrane Handbook, which provides a comprehensive guide to analysis.

  • GRADE guidance

Different review authors have adopted different approaches to incorporate GRADE into Cochrane Reviews. The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and Cochrane MECIR guidance suggests that judgements should be described in the ‘Results’ or ‘Discussion’ section of the review, or both, or as part of the ‘Summary of findings’ table. For consistency across CIDG reviews, we recommend the following approach detailed in this document. CIDG GRADE guidance

  • 'Summary of findings' guidance

All CIDG reviews are  expected to include 'Summary of findings' tables. These are designed to summarize the key results of a specific question within a Cochrane review, and allow guidance to be issued on the basis of this. To assist with this process, special software has been developed, known as GRADEproGDT. Detailed information regarding 'Summary of findings' tables and GRADE can be accessed via the Cochrane Informatics and Knowledge Management Department ( or via the GRADEproGDT website (

  • Abstract

Each Cochrane Review must include an abstract. Cochrane UK has produced a helpful guide to producing clear abstracts for high-quality systematic reviews that are easy to read, understand, and translate.

o   Read ‘Cochrane abstracts: a guide to style and content’ (PDF)

  • Plain language summary guidance

All Cochrane reviews must have a plain language summary (PLS). A Cochrane PLS is a stand-alone summary of a Cochrane Review written in plain English that can be understood by non-specialists. It briefly describes the key question and findings of the review. It is clearly set out, uses words and sentence structures that are easy to understand, and avoids technical terms and jargon.

PLSs are made freely available on the internet at, on the Cochrane Library, and on other websites affiliated with Cochrane, so they will often be read as stand-alone documents. PLSs are now also available at PubMed Health.

·       Links to guidance

  • How to submit a protocol or review for editorial review

Authors submit (“check in”) the protocol/review online to Editorial Manager (EM). Guidance for authors regarding submission to the EM system is available here.  Authors also need to email the completed protocol or review checklist to the Managing Editor to complete this process. The Managing Editor will email all authors to confirm receipt of protocol/review and the checklist.

  • Archiving data

Since December 2018, the CIDG has adopted an active approach to archiving review information, to ensure important documents are stored centrally.

Regarding files and folders generated during your protocol/review work, the CIDG will need to archive this information to ensure it is stored safely and can be easily accessed in future (e.g. should a question arise regarding a published review, or a review update is planned). This information includes data extraction forms, PDFs, and analyses documents. We ask that you save your data to a Dropbox account or other file sharing software and grant access to this information to the CIDG editorial team. We have an example template for the structure of your folders and will be happy to share this with you. Please contact for further details.

  • Email lists and newsletters

Cochrane uses e-mail discussion lists and newsletters as important means of communication.  We encourage authors to ensure they are listed within the correct email lists and to sign up for the relevant newsletters.