Licence for Publication Form Instructions

Note: slides summarizing the following instructions are available here.


The Licence for Publication is a contract between a review author and the Cochrane Collaboration that grants the Collaboration an exclusive licence to publish a specific version of a review.

The following instructions are based on the assumption that you - as a Cochrane author - have received an email from the editorial base of a Cochrane Review Group with a link to the Licence for Publication form for your review, and that you have a user name and password for the Cochrane IMS (RevMan and Archie). If you have been sent an email without having a user name and password, if you think you have received the email by mistake, or if you have other questions that are not answered here, you should contact the Managing Editor of the Review Group.

Note: Even though the email has been generated automatically, you can still contact the Managing Editor of the Review Group by replying to it. This is the preferred way of communication because the text included from the original email contains information that the Review Group needs in order to help you with your query.

Note: If your review is either UK Government or WHO work, you will need to prepare an additional form in advance so that you can upload it at the same time as you submit the Cochrane form, see Special types of work.

Step 1: Logging in

When you click the link in the email, your Internet browser should open and take you to the Archie login page where you have to enter your user name and password. (This step is skipped if you are already logged into Archie.) Read the next section if you have problems logging in - otherwise skip to step 2.


  • If nothing happens when you click the link, try copying the link into the address line of your browser manually. Also check that your computer is connected to the Internet.
  • If you do not remember your user name and/or password you can use the 'Forgot your password?' link on the login page.  
  • If the link is not working, i.e. you get a 'page not found' error or a 'Cannot find a Licence for publication form with the given ID' error before or after logging in, check that the link has not been broken, i.e. it extends over multiple lines.
    An intact link should look like this, except the code at the end will be different:
    If the link appears broken, try piecing it together by copying each part to the address line of your browser. Make sure all of the code is included.
  • If you see the message 'You are not authorised to perform this action' after logging in, you have to make sure that the user name and password you have entered are in fact your own (the author's). You should never use another person's login details. 
  • If you see other error messages or experience problems that cannot be solved by following these instructions, please contact the Managing Editor of the Review Group.

Step 2: Completing the form

After logging in you should see the Licence for Publication form for your review. If this does not happen, e.g. if Archie opens on another page, try clicking the link in the email again.

Note: You have one hour to complete the form before you will automatically be logged out and have to start the process again. You should never leave your computer unattended with the form open.

Note: If you need to close the form without submitting it, you can either close the browser window, or you can click the Cancel button at the end of the form.

The Licence for Publication form is divided into five sections: Review information, Licence for publication, Declaration of interest statement, Special types of work, and Acceptance of Licence for publication.

Review information

This section shows information about your review. The blue text of the review title, the review group's name and your own name can be clicked to open pop-up windows with more information. You can view the proof of the review by clicking either the button labelled 'View the final version' or the button labelled 'Preview published PDF'. The former displays a RevMan style view of the review, while the latter displayes an accurate preview of the publihed PDF version. If you need to discuss anything concerning the proof with the Review Group before you can accept the Licence, please close the form and contact the Managing Editor of the Review Group. 

Note: If the pop-up windows do not appear, check the 'pop-up blocker' settings of your browser.

Licence for publication

This section contains the terms of the Licence for Publication. Please read this carefully. Even though you may have completed a Licence for Publication form before, the terms may have changed.

Declaration of interest statement

This section contains a copy of the 'Declarations of interest' section of the review. Although not directly related to the Licence for Publication, it is included here to remind you what will be published about your potential conflicts of interest for this review. If there is a problem with the text, please contact the Managing Editor of the Review Group.

Special types of work

If your review has been prepared as part of your official duties working for the UK Government, the US Government or the World Health Organization (WHO), or if you are an NIH grant-holder, you need to pay special attention to this section. After choosing the option that applies to you by clicking the radio button, the instructions relevant to your type of work will be displayed on the form. Please read these carefully.

For UK Government or WHO work an additional form is required that has to be completed, signed, scanned into a PDF document, and uploaded together with the Cochrane form. If you do not have the additional form file ready, you have to close the form now and return later when you are ready to proceed. You can return to the form at any time by following the steps outlined in these instructions again.

Acceptance of Licence for publication

This section is where you must positively affirm your acceptance of the Licence for publication. Because you are logged into Archie, your identity has already been confirmed. You now have to tick the box labelled 'I have read the terms and accept the Licence for publication', and, to make sure the form has not been submitted by mistake, you have to type your name exactly as written. When done, the Submit button at the end of the form will become enabled. If this does not happen, please double check the spelling of your name. If you have pasted in your name, try typing it instead.

Note: There is no option to submit a 'not accepted' Licence for Publication form. If you cannot accept the Licence, please close the form and contact the Managing Editor of the Review Group.

At the end of the form you can choose whether you want to be notified if, in exceptional circumstance, the Review Group introduces minor changes to the review just before publication. In the event of such changes, you would be sent a link that allows you to quickly identify the changes.

Note: If you are the contact person for the review you cannot opt-out of being notified.

Step 3: Submitting the form

To submit the form and accept the Licence for Publication, click the Submit button. A pop-up box with the message 'Thank you for submitting the form. Do you want to close the window?' should then appear. Click Cancel if you want to keep the form window open.

Unless specifically agreed, you do not have to inform the Review Group that you have completed the form.

Note: You will not receive a confirmation email from the system. If you want to make sure the form has been submitted you can open it again, see the next section.

Returning to the form

You can always return to a form you have submitted if you want to check a detail or, in exceptional circumstances, to retract it.

The easiest way to access the form is to click the link in the email again and repeat step 1. If you have lost the email, you can also log into Archie from the front page ( and browse or search for your review. When found, right-click on the review title and choose Reports > Licence for Publication Forms, then click the Open button next to your name to see the form.

If you return to a form after it has been submitted but before the deadline for submission of reviews for publication in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), you have the option to retract the form (by clicking the Retract button). This will effectively undo the action of submitting the form.

Warning: the system will not release the review to the Cochrane Collaboration's publishers for publication until all authors have accepted the Licence and submitted their forms. In other words, if one author does not sign the form by the submission deadline, it will not be published in the next issue of the CDSR; the review will not be published until the Licence has been accepted by all the authors named on the byline.