Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource
The Cochrane Library complaints procedure

This procedure applies to complaints about the policies, processes or actions of staff, contributors or position-holders of Cochrane involved in the publication or content of the Cochrane Library. We welcome complaints as they provide an opportunity for improvement, and we aim to respond efficiently and constructively. We define complaints as an expression of unhappiness about a failure of process or an important misjudgement. If you disagee with an editorial decision made about a specific Cochrane Review, protocol for a Cochrane Review or update of a Cochrane Review, please refer to the appeals policy.

The Editor in Chief of the Cochrane Library is responsible for this complaints procedure and will respond to queries about it.

Comment or complaint?

If you wish to comment on the content of a Cochrane Review or Protocol, please follow our guidance on Submitting comments on Cochrane Reviews. You can send your comment by clicking on the ‘Submit Comments’ button in the Article Tools menu.

The complaint process exists in parallel with the 'comments' process and may be used either if you believe that the comment is of such a serious nature that urgent corrective action is warranted, or if you believe that the usual process has not been satisfactorily managed or resolved.

How to complain

Complaints relating to the Cochrane Library in general or the staff or actions of the Cochrane Editorial Unit should be referred directly to the Editor in Chief. Complaints may be made by email, phone or letter.

Dr David Tovey
Editor in Chief, Cochrane Library
Cochrane Editorial Unit
St Albans House
57-59 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4QX

+44 (0)20 7183 7503

If the complainant is not content with the response, or if the complaint relates to the conduct of the Editor in Chief, the complainant can ask for the complaint to be referred to the Cochrane Library Oversight Committee via its Chair.
Complaints that refer to The Cochrane Library databases that are produced by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) will be redirected to the relevant individuals at the CRD. Alternatively, complaints can be made directly to the CRD:

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
University of York
York YO10 5DD
+44 (0)1904 321040

How we deal with complaints

All complaints will be acknowledged within three working days. If possible a definitive response will be made within two weeks. If this is not possible an interim response will be given within two weeks. Further interim responses will be provided until the complaint is resolved.

Complainants who remain unhappy after this procedure has run its course may consider referring the matter to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The Cochrane Library and all Cochrane Review Groups are members of COPE (See section on COPE), which publishes a code of conduct and best practice guidelines for journal editors. COPE will consider complaints against publications only after the publication's own complaints procedures have been exhausted.

Section info
Bryony Urquhart (burquhart@cochrane.org)
Describe change
Updated to include reference to the new appeals policy, and add details to clarify definition of complaint vs. appeal.
Change date
15 August 2017