Archie: Privacy Policy

Version 1.1


The Cochrane Collaboration is an international organisation that depends on IT and internet-based systems for communicating and sharing information to fulfil its purpose. We appreciate the sensitivity of any private information that you disclose to us. We are committed to balancing the need to communicate effectively between individuals and groups, across time zones and over great distances, with your need for privacy.

This privacy policy applies to Archie and to Cochrane Account. Cochrane Account provides you access to all Cochrane systems, and is a service delivered through Archie.

In order to operate effectively, the contact information that you provide to a Cochrane group will be shared with other Cochrane groups through Archie unless you specifically request otherwise. Your contact information will not be sold or given to anyone outside The Cochrane Collaboration. We will treat your information with the highest level of care.

Restricted access

Anyone can sign up for a Cochrane Account. However, nobody can view the personal information of other Cochrane users in Archie unless the have at a contributor role (such as Author) in one of Collaboration’s registered groups. All registered users must agree to the terms of use for the system. If users violate the terms of use, their rights may be revoked.


Archie, and other systems that you log in to with your Cochrane Account, will track you using cookies. The primary purpose is to verify that you are logged in, but we are also able to record the pages you visit, which is used for compiling usage statistics.


The Archie server has strict security in place to prevent intruder entry and retrieval of personal information about its users.

Information stored

The following information is stored for each person:

  • Name
  • The roles held within various Cochrane groups (e.g. Author in a Review Group or Member of a Methods Group)

We will typically store and share your:

  • Address (work and/or home address, if provided)
  • Phone and fax
  • Email address

Each of the above information elements can be marked as ‘Hidden’, meaning that it will only be visible to a few key people in the Cochrane group the information was given to.

With your explicit permission, we may store and share:

  • Your photo - it can be updated or removed on your instructions at any time

We may also store, but not share, your:

  • Country of origin
  • Sex

If you provide these data, they will only be directly available to a few individuals. They will be used for general reports on the composition of group membership.

Hiding information

To have elements of your information marked a hidden, please notify your Cochrane group.

Use of your information

Mass mailings

To avoid the sending of unwanted emails, The Cochrane Collaboration has a policy that all generic messages must be sent via the Collaboration’s email lists. Subscription to these lists is voluntary, and independent of being registered in Archie.

If there is no relevant email list to use, Cochrane groups may use your contact information from Archie to send (by post or email) information that is targeted to a specific membership or geographic region. These might include information about the Collaboration’s annual conference (the ‘Colloquium’), about regional Cochrane meetings, or perhaps training events for Cochrane contributors. We will never use Archie to send you information that is not directly related to the work of The Cochrane Collaboration.

Published information

Archie’s functionality includes preparing information for publication elsewhere. This is how Cochrane Systematic Reviews are published in The Cochrane Library. The full addresses of Contact persons of Cochrane reviews are published as part of the review. For other authors, we publish affiliation details (department, organisation, city and country). Authors can see (in the review documents they approve for publication) which parts of their stored information are published with the reviews.

Third parties

Except for the information that is provided for publication, we do not pass the information we store in Archie on to third parties.


Data protection regulations vary internationally, but share some common principles. By adhering to the fundamental principles, The Cochrane Collaboration is likely to be compliant with regulations everywhere. The Cochrane Collaboration is registered with the UK Data Protection Register.

Archie is hosted on servers in the UK, and is therefore under the jurisdiction of UK law, which is harmonized with the EU Data Protection Act (1998).

Version History

1.1: Updated to describe Cochrane Account, use of Cookies, and UK location of servers. October 2016.
1.0.1: Original published version.