Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource
Rejection of Cochrane Reviews: guidance for CRGs

Guidance on implementing policy (for editorial teams)

In this document, “Cochrane Review” refers to protocols for Cochrane Reviews, Cochrane Reviews, and Cochrane Reviews that are being updated.

CRG actions

The CRG website must link to the Cochrane policy on rejecting Cochrane Reviews.    

Decision process

Two CRG Editors (including the Co-ordinating Editor or delegate) must agree the decision to reject the Cochrane Review.

The Cochrane Editorial Unit (CEU@Cochrane.org) can screen individual Cochrane Reviews to aid the CRG’s decision-making process, if required, but in most cases this will not be necessary.

Notify authors

The Managing Editor (ME), or their delegate, must notify the author team (including all co-authors) of the Editors’ decision to reject the Cochrane Review. The correspondence should include the detailed reasons for the decision, including a written report for Cochrane Reviews and updates of Cochrane Reviews,  and a link to Cochrane’s policy on rejecting Cochrane Reviews. 

Notify Editor in Chief

When the CRG rejects a draft Cochrane Review before publication, the ME, or their delegate, must forward the decision email to the Editor in Chief (CEU@Cochrane.org), with the subject line “Rejection of a Cochrane Review” providing the review title, CD number, authors and review stage (protocol/review/update), if not included in the original email.

Recording the decision in Archie

The editorial decisions that led to the rejection of the protocol or review must be recorded in the Notes tab of the protocol/review’s Properties sheet. Notes should be as factual as possible, recording what has occurred and the actions taken (if appropriate), as opposed to judgmental. Information on different types of ‘notes’ in Archie, including who can see your notes, is available here.

If the protocol/review was rejected for reasons specific to the Author team, then a factual Note should also be added to the Properties sheet of the relevant person records in Archie.

For an unpublished protocol 

  • On the General tab, change the Write Phase to Editorial.
  • Create a new Administrative note, using the Note Type: Editorial Management, to record the reason(s) that led to the rejection of the protocol.
  • Move the rejected protocol to the Inactive section of the Vacant titles folder in Archie (or follow your usual CRG procedure for filing the rejected protocol).
  • Consider de-registering the title.

For an unpublished Cochrane Review or an unpublished update of a Cochrane Review

  • On the General tab, change the Write Phase to Editorial.
  • On the History tab, revert back to the last published version of the protocol (if draft review versions have been checked in) or the last published version of the review (if draft updated review versions have been checked in).
  • Create a new Administrative note, using the Note Type: Editorial Management, to record the reason(s) that led to the rejection of the review. This should be a concise, factual description of what preceeded the decision to reject, referencing the workflow for further details, if appropriate.
  • If the Protocol of the rejected draft Review is to be withdrawn (refer to the policy for withdrawing Cochrane Reviews), change the Stage back to Protocol and the Status of the rejected draft Review to Withdrawn. The rejected draft Review will be moved automatically to the Withdrawn section of the Protocols folder in Archie.
  • Consider making the unpublished Cochrane Review/update of a Cochrane Review available to a new author team. 
Section info
Contact
Bryony Urquhart (burquhart@cochrane.org)
Describe change
Amended instructions for unpublished Cochrane Review or unpublished update of a Cochrane Review (on the history tab), following comments from Liz Dooley.
Change date
25 September 2017