Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource
What’s New events (publishing events) in Cochrane Reviews: new publication, new citation, or change in publication status

When a Cochrane Review (or a protocol) is published for the first time a new citation version is automatically generated. Cochrane Review citation versions are recorded in reference databases such as MEDLINE and Science Citation Index (SCI). Protocols do not have citations in MEDLINE or SCI, but are included in other databases such as PROSPERO.

The following tables describe the events that lead to a new publication, new citation, or a change in the publication status for protocols (Table 1) and reviews (Table 2). These events are called ‘What’s New events’ in Review Manager.  The scenarios were updated on 1st September 2018; the previous iteration of the policy is available in PDF format here.

Occasionally, it may be necessary to split a protocol or review into two or more protocols or reviews, or merge two or more protocols or reviews to create a new protocol or review. Each of the new versions will have a new citation.

Note: While it is technically possible to enter several ‘What’s New’ events in an updated review, only information about the changes since the last published version should be in the ‘What’s New’ table. ‘What’s New’ events from previously published versions should be moved to the History table.

Table 1. Protocols for Cochrane Reviews: events that lead to a new publication or change in publication status (‘What’s New’ events)

Examples

Change

New citation version?

‘What’s New’ events to select

  • An important change to the objectives or scope of the proposed review (e.g. new outcomes or changes to the priority or definition of the outcomes, comparisons, methodology, types of participants or developments in the intervention or its delivery)

Major change

Y

(1) New citation: major change

  • Minor typographical errors
  • Changes to information presented in the background section that will not otherwise affect the eligibility criteria (e.g. amending definition or burden of disease, or updating supporting references)

Amended

N

(1) Amended

  • Where protocol is changed in response to a Comment/Feedback
  • Post-publication change in authorship (see policy)

Amended

Y

(1) New citation: no major change

 

 

Table 2. Cochrane Reviews: events that lead to a new publication, new citation, or change in publication status (‘What’s New’ events)

Examples:

Conclusions changed?

New citation version?

‘What’s new’ events to select [Note that "Update" must only be used to describe a Review when a new search was completed AND studies were fully incorporated]*

  • Addition of new studies (e.g. the full inclusion of a study previously awaiting classification)
  • Removal of one or more studies previously included (e.g. when the studies have been retracted)
  • Any changes to the following sections (except minor typographical errors that do not impact the data or review findings or interpretation): scope of the review (e.g. new outcomes, comparisons, types of participants or developments in the intervention or its delivery); methodology; results (e.g. in effect estimates or confidence intervals), the certainty in the results (as expressed by GRADE ratings); conclusions; Summary of Findings tables; Abstract; and/or Plain Language Summary
  • Where review is changed in response to a Comment/Feedback (beyond minor typographical errors)

Y

Y

(1) Updated OR amended

AND

(2) New citation: conclusions changed

  • Minor typographical errors that do not impact the data or review findings or interpretation
  • One or more studies removed from “Studies awaiting classification”
  • New search performed, but studies not fully incorporated into the results of the review (i.e. added to ‘Studies awaiting classification’)*

N

N

(1) Amended

  • Addition of new studies (e.g. the full inclusion of a study previously awaiting classification)
  • Removal of a study previously included (e.g. when the studies have been retracted)
  • Any changes to the following sections (except minor typographical errors that do not impact the data or review findings or interpretation): scope of the review (e.g. new outcomes, comparisons, types of participants or developments in the intervention or its delivery); methodology; results (e.g. in effect estimates or confidence intervals), the certainty in the results (as expressed by GRADE ratings); conclusions; Summary of Findings tables; Abstract; and/or Plain Language Summary
  • Where review is changed in response to a Comment/Feedback (beyond minor typographical errors)
  • Where one or more of the studies has a published expression of concern, and a note of caution is added to the published review, pending further information.
  • Post-publication change in authorship (see policy [http://community.cochrane.org/editorial-and-publishing-policy-resource/ethical-considerations/authorship-and-contributorship#change-in-authorship]

N

Y

(1) Updated OR amended

AND

(2) New citation: conclusions not changed

*Studies are fully incorporated into the Cochrane Review if added to the included studies, excluded studies, ongoing studies, or studies awaiting classification (only if all reasonable efforts to integrate it into included, excluded, or ongoing have failed), or no new studies identified in search. Studies are not fully incorporated if studies identified by the search are added to studies awaiting classification only (see exception above). See ‘Reporting search dates’ for further information.

 

Withdrawing a Cochrane Review

The withdrawal of a Cochrane Review or a protocol for a Cochrane Review always requires a new citation version, and the What's New Events (1) Change status to ‘withdrawn’ on the Advanced tab of the Properties sheet in Archie AND (2) Amended. See further information.

 

 

Section info
Contact
Bryony Urquhart (burquhart@cochrane.org)
Describe change
Clarified that "Update" must only be used to describe a Review where a new search was completed AND studies were fully incorporated into the table header, rather than as footnote to the table, and also added text to clarify that the withdrawal of a protocol always requires a new citation version (same as Review).
Change date
2 October 2018