Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource
Including Cochrane Reviews and Protocols in Scholarly Collaboration Networks (SCNs) and Repositories

Scholarly Collaboration Networks (SCNs)

From 21 September 2016, authors also have the right to post the published version in a Scholarly Collaboration Network (SCN) that has signed up to the STM article-sharing principles, 12 months after publication. SCNs are “platforms that allow researchers to develop and maintain professional relationships. SCNs also enable researchers to share information and ideas, participate in discussions and embark on collaborations. Some networks do not facilitate possibilities for social interactions, but do enable collaboration through article sharing” (STM; accessed 20 June 2016; http://www.stm-assoc.org/stm-consultations/scn-consultation-2015/). The current list of endorsing organizations can be viewed at: http://www.stm-assoc.org/stm-consultations/scn-consultation-2015/. Note that, until further notice, authors are not permitted to post their Cochrane Review to ResearchGate or any other SCN that has not signed-up to the STM article-sharing principles.

Repositories (including PubMed Central)

From 1 February 2013 onwards, authors have had the right to post the published version of their Cochrane Review or protocol for a Cochrane Review in a repository, 12 months after publication. A repository is an online archive of a research institution for the collection preservation and dissemination of digital copies of its authors’ intellectual output. See below for specific guidance for PubMed Central.

PubMed Central

PubMed Central (PMC) is a “free archive [repository] of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)” (PMC, accessed 20 June 2016; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/intro/). There are two PMC International centres: Europe PMC and PMC Canada. PMC International “is a collaborative effort between NIH and NLM, the publishers whose journal content makes up the PMC archive, and organizations in other countries that share NIH's and NLM's interest in archiving life sciences literature” (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/pmci/).

Cochrane Reviews and Protocols may be submitted and included in one or more than one of the PMC archives through one of the following routes:

  1. Gold open access
  2. Green open access
  3. USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research
  4. UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded research

1. Gold open access

If an author selects gold open access (by paying the article publishing charge or is eligible for a waiver), then Wiley will arrange for the Cochrane Review or Protocol to be submitted to PMC. The following steps occur:

  • Wiley sends the submission to the NIH platform and processing and approval begins.
  • NIH sends an email to the contact author requesting approval for the submission of the review to NIH and PMC.
  • Contact author approves the submission.
  • NIH puts the article through quality assurance (removing duplications etc).
  • NIH indexes the article.
  • NIH includes the Cochrane Review in the PMC after the 12-month embargo.

Please note that it is the contact author’s responsibility to provide authorization to the NIH to include the article in the PMC. If the contact author does not provide authorization then the NIH will not submit the article to PMC.  

2. Green open access

Cochrane Reviews published on or after 21 September 2016: Cochrane Reviews (including updates) published on or after 21st September 2016 will be automatically submitted to PMC via the steps described in section (1) for inclusion 12 months after publication.

Cochrane Reviews published on or after 1 February 2013 and before 21 September 2016: Cochrane Reviews (excluding Protocols) published on or after 1 February 2013 and before 21 September 2016 may be submitted to PMC by the author, for inclusion 12 months after publication. Authors who wish to submit a copy of their Cochrane Review to PMC need to follow the instructions on the PMC website: “Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PubMed Central yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS)”.

Protocols for Cochrane Reviews published on or after 1 February 2013: Protocols for Cochrane Reviews published on or after 1 February 2013 may be submitted to PMC by the author, for inclusion 12 months after publication. Authors who wish to submit a copy of their Cochrane Protocol to PMC need to follow the instructions on the PMC website: “Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PubMed Central yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS)”.

3. USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research

Cochrane Reviews that are prepared by one or more authors with USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding must be submitted to PMC as part of the funding requirements. Wiley assists with the submission of NIH-funded reviews to PMC. The following steps occur:

  • NIH-funded authors must tick the correct box in the licence for publication form.
  • Wiley is alerted that a NIH-funded review needs to be submitted to PMC.
  • Wiley sends the submission to the NIH platform and processing and approval begins.
  • NIH sends an email to the contact author requesting approval for the submission of the review to NIH and PMC.
  • Contact author approves the submission.
  • NIH puts the article through quality assurance (removing duplications etc).
  • NIH indexes the article.
  • NIH includes the Cochrane Review in the PMC.

Please note that it is the contact author’s responsibility to provide approval to the NIH to include the article in the PMC. If the contact author does not provide authorization then the NIH will not submit the article to PMC.  

4. UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants

Cochrane Protocols and Reviews prepared as part of the 2007 and 2010 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants, and published by 31 January 2013, must be submitted to Europe PMC as part of the NIHR open access policy. The Cochrane Editorial Unit will approve the submission of each individual article to Europe PMC against the list of protocols and reviews provided by the NIHR. 

Cochrane Protocols and Reviews prepared as part of the 2013 NIHR Programme Grants, in addition to Cochrane Protocols and Reviews published after 1 February 2014 from the 2007 and 2010 NIHR Programme Grants, will follow the usual green open access policy. This allows the author team to deposit the protocol or review into Europe PMC 12 months after publication in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR).

All Cochrane Protocols and Reviews prepared as part of a NIHR Programme Grant must include an entry in the ‘External Sources of Support’ section with the following as a minimum: 

  • Name: National Institute for Health Research, UK
  • Description: [grant name], [grant number]
Section info
Describe change
Updated to include scholarly collaboration networks and to reflect new green open access policy (21 Sept 2016)
Change date
22 September 2016