The future of Cochrane's Editorial Management System


The goal of this programme of work is for Cochrane to select and roll out an editorial management system (EMS) that meets user needs, accommodates different content types, and is sustainable.

Why is Cochrane doing this?

Over the past two years, Cochrane has been reviewing the editorial management systems used by our editors and authors to prepare Cochrane Reviews and the other content published in the Cochrane Library. Cochrane requires an EMS that meets user needs, accommodates different content types, and is sustainable. This programme of work formed part of an organizational Target in 2020, which aims to improve our technology and revise our processes to create more timely, consistent, and efficient editorial and production systems.

In October 2020, after many months of consultation and a rigorous tender process, Cochrane announced that Editorial Manager has been chosen to provide Cochrane editors and authors with an EMS that will improve the efficiency and visibility of the organization’s editorial workflows, providing an experience that is comparable with that of other global scientific publications. 

Cochrane has engaged Origin Editorial as the consultant team to support this work, from selection to implementation.

What are the main areas of work?

Project: Roll out of Editorial Manager

The goal of this project is to assist all Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) to begin using Editorial Manager. Implementing Editorial Manager for CRGs will be a process of gradual familiarisation with the system, not an abrupt change. CRGs will move a selection of protocols, reviews, and updates currently in development into EM. 

All CRG Network and the Central Editorial Service Editorial Manager sites were created as of mid-May 2021, with mapping of Cochrane’s editorial workflow onto the system. Cochrane Support teams have undergone comprehensive training on the system, and nearly all CRGs have begun to use the system as of November 2021. Current planning is for all CRGs to be using Editorial Manager for all active editorial workflows by the end of December 2021, when Archie workflows will be turned off for new submissions.

Editorial Manager will become the system through which all Cochrane reviews, protocols, and updates will be managed after this date. This is an important step to finalize the implementation of Editorial Manager, as it is neither feasible nor practical to have publication workflows operating in two systems. Editorial teams have been provided with step-by-step guidance on preparing for this change, and the Cochrane Support team is eager to ensure the experience of teams finishing their transition to Editorial Manager is a good one.

The Project Team is currently finalizing the new copy editing process and the publication production system connections. The roll out is on track to be finalized at the end of Decebmer 2021, at which point the EMS programme of work will close and use of Editorial Manager will become "business as usual" for Cochrane. 

Editorial Manager training

An Editorial Manager Portal has been set up on Cochrane Training. This portal includes a variety of resources, including a full training plan, information about how to use Editorial Manager for authors, preparatory and practice tasks for CRG editorial teams, and a link to the Knowledge Base with instructions for editorial teams on how to use Editorial Manager for tasks. The Editorial Manager Cochrane Training site is live for all Cochrane staff to use to conduct the practice tasks. Cochrane’s Community Support, Managing Editor Support, and EMS Community Liaison teams have received training on the system, and this is ongoing. These teams will be in frequent communication with the CRG community throughout implementation of Editorial Manager, and CRGs will be fully supported as they move onto the new system. 

The training plan includes one-to-one induction and group training for CRG staff that will be using Editorial Manager frequently, and a schedule of training sessions and recordings of prior sessions are currently posted. Documentation of how key Cochrane processes work within Editorial Manager and instructions on how to carry out specific tasks are available in a Knowledge Base that is searchable and open to all. Training resources from Aries (the producer of Editorial Manager) are also available. Email communication with CRGs and authors will be undertaken throughout the implementation process. 

All queries related to Editorial Manager and roll out should be directed to

See below for previous project updates.

Cochrane Team

Project team: Liz Dooley, Rachel Marshall, John Hilton, Juliane Ried, Anupa Shah, Gert van Valkenhoef, and Ursula Gonthier

Programme Board: Chris Mavergames (sponsor), Charlotte Pestridge (sponsor), Karla Soares-Weiser, and Chris Champion

Programme Manager: Obi Onuora

Community Liaison team: Anna Erskine, Pua Motu'apuaka, Anne-Marie Stephani

Membership and Support Manager: Ursula Gonthier

About Origin Editorial

Origin Editorial is a full-service editorial office collaboration, managed, and staffed, by industry recognized thought-leaders on peer review management best practice and journal business operations. The Origin team has considerable experience using multiple editorial management systems and has previously been called upon to advise developers of these systems on functionality needs and to facilitate an understanding of how editorial office users interact with such systems. Origin is also regularly engaged to advise journals and publishers alike on optimal peer review management workflows for a variety of stakeholders.

The principal project leads will be Jason Roberts, Senior Partner at Origin Editorial and David Allen. Jason Roberts has blended 3 career paths (publisher, peer review management and research in to peer review and publication ethics) to become a leading voice in the industry on the improvement in peer review management with a view to elevating the quality of published research. He is a past president of the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors and resides in Ottawa, Canada. David Allen has 19 years of medical publishing experience including being a former director of publications for the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research as well as a former Publisher for Elsevier. He has extensive experience with multiple editorial management systems and has undertaken several system implementations for a variety of publications. David is based in South Carolina, USA.

Prior Updates

2021 February: Update on Cochrane's Editorial Management System implementation (short recorded presentation from Join the Conversation webinar)

2020 November: Cochrane’s Editorial Management System webinar recordings

2020 November: Summary of community workflow consultation 

2020 October: EMS vendor announcement

2020 October: Project updates regarding vendor selection and community workflow consultation

2020 April: Webinar recording

For Cochrane content editorial teams: login and listen to a recording of the webinar on 'The future of Cochrane's editorial management system: what have we learned and what's next?'

2019 December: Findings and decisions about the future EMS

2019 July: General project update

Site last updated: 16 November 2021