Cochrane Emergency and Critical Care conducts peer review in accordance with the Cochrane peer review policy. All protocols and reviews are commented on by external peer reviewers prior to publication. This process applies to Intervention reviews, reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA), Prognosis reviews, and Overviews, as well as Editorials and Supplements.
We invite at least two external clinical or content areas specialists, and a consumer (healthcare service user) to provide feedback on each draft protocol and review. An in-house Statistical Editor also comments on analysis and methodology, and our Cochrane Information Specialist consults on search strategies. A Content Editor is responsible for compiling all feedback from these individuals into a focused plan of action for the author team to use to improve the quality of their review. The Managing Editor is responsible for managing the peer review process, which is overseen by the Co-ordinating Editor.
External peer reviewers are not always expected to have expertise in systematic review methodology. For example, as a clinician, content area expert, or healthcare user, a reviewer could be asked to comment on:
- The healthcare issues and interventions under review
- The clinical or policy context that the findings of the review are presented in
- The planned and final inclusion criteria or scope of the review (i.e., populations, interventions, comparators, outcomes, study designs)
- General readability and consistency of presentation of the protocol and review
- Accessibility and relevance to individuals requiring and accessing health care
Guidance is provided for reviewers, including a tailored and structured feedback form. We have an open peer review process, wherein all reviewer's names and affiliations are available to authors, and all reviewers are acknowledged for their contribution in the published review. Each reviewer is given the opportunity to review the feedback of other contributing reviewers and editors, and the plan of action created by the Content Editor. Any issues identified during the peer review process, and feedback on the process, can be brought to the attention of the Managing Editor.
We typically allocate 21 days for peer reviewers to return their feedback on a protocol or review.
We sincerely thank all current and past peer reviewers for their important contributions.