A collection of key resources that you may find useful as a CIS.

Capacity Survey of Cochrane Information Specialists

In 2020 the Cochrane Information Specialists’ Executive conducted a capacity survey across the whole Cochrane information specialist community. The aims of the survey were:

•             to identify the capacity of information specialists working with Cochrane entities,
•             to map their tasks and activities, and
•             to evaluate their support and training needs. 

The Exec are pleased to present final report.

It is a detailed report, and we would like to highlight pages 2-7, which contain an Executive Summary, a SWOT analysis and some key recommendations.

Guidance and handbooks

CIS Handbook
Links throughout to resources of interest to Cochrane Information Specialists (CIS), including the role of a CIS, specialised registers, the Cochrane Register of Studies, handsearching, author support, Archie, RevMan, communications, professional development and key resources.

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

MECIR (Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews)

Cochrane Style Manual

Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA Handbook)

Updating Classification System 

Cochrane websites

Cochrane Crowd

Cochrane Library

Cochrane Engage

Cochrane Training

Identifying translators to assess and extract data of studies in different languages for inclusion in Cochrane Reviews

Search resources

Identifying trials

Search filters

CENTRAL creation details - CENTRAL is comprised of records retrieved from PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, ClinicalTrials.gov, KoreaMed, WHO ICTRP, all Review Groups' Specialized Registers and records identified by handsearching various biomedical sources. This page on the Cochrane Library describes the process.

Training manual for handsearchers - hosted on the Information Retrieval Methods Group site. This was published in 2002, to provide training for those planning on handsearching to identify randomized and quasi-randomized trials.  It is still considered to be useful for those learning how to classify journal articles and abstracts to identify studies for inclusion in reviews or for inclusion in CENTRAL.


Archie (central server for managing documents and contacts details)

Cochrane Register of Studies (CRS Web)
The Cochrane Register of Studies (CRS) is both a data repository and a data management tool. As a ‘meta-register’ or repository for Specialised Registers from all Cochrane groups, including Cochrane Review Groups, it provides a central storage facility. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) is drawn from the CRS; all Cochrane groups that publish records in CENTRAL do so via the CRS. The CRS is also a powerful management tool which enables Cochrane groups to develop their Specialised Registers and to support literature searching activities for individual Cochrane Reviews.

The CRS automatically synchronises with Review Manager (RevMan), The Cochrane Collaboration’s systematic review authoring software. This enables linking to Cochrane Reviews and Protocols within each group’s CRS segment, and automatically matches the included/excluded studies and their associated reports contained in Cochrane Reviews with corresponding CRS records. Records exported from the CRS are automatically formatted to conform to the Cochrane Style Guide, which will improve consistency of reference formatting within Reviews.

Access to the CRS is currently restricted to Cochrane groups which maintain a Specialised Register. Groups can choose which of their staff members have access to the CRS and the type of tasks they can perform.

Tools and software (including PICO annotation, Covidence, EPPI Reviewer, GRADEpro GDT, RevMan)

Tools shared by CISs

RevMan 5 export filter - Graham Chan has made available this EndNote output style for exporting references from EndNote into RevMan.

Template - these documents draw together best practice examples from the CIS community in relation to writing the search methods in Cochrane protocols, reviews, and updates.  We have checked these examples against the MECIR reporting standards for reviews, and against the latest version of the Style Manual.  The Copy-edit Support Team have checked and approved the text.

CIS Support Team Digest

CIS Support provided induction training and support to all Cochrane Information Specialists (CISs) in all aspects of their role within a Cochrane group. An archive of the monthly IS digest is available from 2015-2021. 

Useful reading

Useful reading (articles of interest)

Last update: Dec 2021