Logo and endorsement policy

An official Cochrane policy. Last updated August 2016.

For more information on individual and organizational presentation of Cochrane's work, please see our Spokesperson policy.


Introduction

This policy sets out the terms of use for Cochrane’s name and logo, and in what circumstances it provides endorsements to contributors or external parties. The guiding principle is that requests will only be approved if they support Cochrane’s mission, and where the aims of the activities or organizations to be endorsed are aligned with its own aims and principles.

In particular, it should be noted that Cochrane has a strict non-commercial use policy preventing the use of our name, logo, information, and evidence for any promotional or advertising purposes. This policy helps ensure that Cochrane avoids even the appearance of endorsing a particular product or service for financial gain. It also guarantees that users of Cochrane evidence and products have access to the full context of our information and are not receiving limited and potentially misleading information through commercial sources.

The Communications and External Affairs Department should be informed as soon as possible of any apparently inappropriate use of the logo, symbol or name. Cochrane reserves the right to refuse all requests for use of the logo or for endorsement. The final decision rests with the Chief Executive Officer.

Definitions

The ‘Cochrane’ name
To improve clarity and consistency, and maximize impact, the organization’s brand name was changed to ‘Cochrane’ from ‘The Cochrane Collaboration’ in January 2015. More information is available in the Cochrane Brand Guidelines. The word ‘collaboration’ can still be used when referring to the concept of the organization, but should now be written using a lower case ‘c’ as it is not part of the organization’s brand name.

The Cochrane logo
Cochrane’s logo comprises the combination of the forest plot symbol and the name. It is a registered trademark in Australia, Canada, the European Community and the USA.

Endorsement
Cochrane defines ‘endorsement’ as the act of giving moral support to or approval of something, generally involving the use of a statement, logo, or recognized graphic symbol.

1. Permission to use the Cochrane logo

1.1.Seeking permission for use
The formal registration of the logo means that it is a criminal offence for someone to use it without permission. In addition, because of Cochrane's prolonged use of both the symbol and the name, we can exercise some control over their use and will seek to prevent other parties from using either the symbol or the word to imply an association with Cochrane, when such an association does not exist.

1.1.1. Cochrane Groups
Registered Cochrane Groups are entitled to use the Cochrane logo on their headed stationery, newsletters and other material related to their Cochrane work. However, all registered Groups are also encouraged to use their own official logo, which is the main symbol with their Group’s approved name and secondary colour choice.

1.1.2. Partner organizations and parties that Cochrane supports
The Cochrane community extends to include external partner organizations. Cochrane also provides support to other organizations and people in a variety of ways. The logo and following text may be used by these parties as follows:

  • "Supported by" + Cochrane Logo or Cochrane Group Logo
    Use this combination if your work is financially supported by Cochrane or a Cochrane Group. If other funders support your work, their logos may be used alongside the Cochrane logo.
  • "In Association with" + Cochrane Logo or Cochrane Group Logo
    Use this combination if you have formalised a working relationship with Cochrane via a Memorandum of Understanding or Collaboration Agreement.
  • "In partnership with" + Cochrane Logo or Cochrane Group Logo
    Use this combination if you have formalised a partnership with Cochrane via a Partnership Agreement. 

1.1.3. Other external parties
Organizations and people who are not members of Cochrane Groups who wish to use the Cochrane logo must seek permission in advance. Commercial organizations cannot use it, or the logos of Cochrane Groups, in association with any product, service, or concept, as this would create an implied association with, or endorsement by, Cochrane. However, commercial organizations may be permitted to cite Cochrane evidence according to the official citation policy.
All commercial organizations must seek written approval from the Communications and External Affairs Department of the Cochrane Central Executive in advance to cite Cochrane evidence. CEAD will then confirm both the Cochrane Editorial Unit and the Cochrane Review Group that produced the associated Cochrane Review(s) agree the proposed usage is an accurate interpretation of the review’s results and recommendations, and that they are comfortable with this association. Usage will be restricted to a limited amount of relevant text from the Cochrane Review, verbatim, citing the review in full, and including the following statement:

(Full citation of the Cochrane Review and publication date). "These conclusions and recommendations in Cochrane Reviews do not constitute an endorsement of this or any healthcare product or intervention."

1.2 Displaying and modifying the logo
Once permission has been gained to use the logo, it must be displayed so as to be instantly recognizable in all off- and online applications. It is not permitted to adapt or modify the logo in any way. Wherever possible, it should be reproduced in colour. The logo can be used in a landscaped or stacked format. More information for how to use the logo is available in the Brand Guidelines.

2. Seeking endorsement by Cochrane

From time to time Cochrane is asked to give its endorsement and approval to a wider range of activities, including training programmes, work groups, policies, organizations, conferences, and journal articles. Such endorsement might range from use of the Cochrane logo to a statement of support.

2.1. Who can seek endorsement
Except in exceptional circumstances (such as co-sponsorship of an event with not-for-profit or charitable purposes), only not-for-profit organizations may seek endorsements. Endorsements, where given, will usually be for specific articles, events or activities that are by definition time-limited. However, consideration will be given to endorsements for longer periods of up to three years, after which the endorsement will automatically lapse and renewal if required must be sought.
Applications for endorsement will not be accepted from for-profit groups or organizations, by political parties and related interest groups, or by organizations or groups whose endorsement might contravene Cochrane's charitable purposes, as defined in its Articles of Association. Similarly, endorsements will not be given to organizations or activities where this would create conflict with Cochrane's commercial sponsorship policy. For example, if a not-for-profit university medical school was to seek endorsement for an evidence-based healthcare conference this might be approved, but if the conference was held by a a for-profit pharmaceutical company this would be rejected.

Individuals may not seek personal endorsements of themselves, but individuals do have the right and responsibilities to adhere to the Cochrane spokesperson policy.

2.2. How to seek an endorsement
All those seeking endorsement by Cochrane must submit their request to the Communications and External Affairs Department of the Cochrane Central Executive in advance. Requests should contain sufficient material to allow a proper assessment to be made. Material showing the way in which the endorsement is to be used should be provided. Clarification may be requested.

Cochrane may impose a non-returnable fee for administering endorsement and/or logo requests.