Membership information for MEs


Cochrane Membership is now live and during 2018 we will be working with MEs on the implications that this has for Groups particularly with relation to data protection related changes to processes.

We provided webinars to Managing Editors on certain elements of Membership and Data Protection and you can watch the webinar here.


This FAQ is a living document that we add to. Its purpose is to provide FAQs to MEs regarding membership.

If you have a query that is not answered by the FAQs below then please contact

About Membership

What is membership?

We have established a contribution based membership scheme where anyone interested in Cochrane can sign up to get involved. Those who contribute substantively become Members. Thresholds for substantive contribution are available in Membership resources information.

Where do people join?

The get involved section of our website is now a Join Cochrane section and there is also a new subdomain of

What happens to the getting involved pages on my Group website?

We’re offering CRGs the opportunity to switch their Get involved pages to the main Join Cochrane pages. You can see an example of how this works at Musculoskeletal Group website. You can do this yourself by following the instructions in this document.

If your CRG site has custom content in the Get involved section that you want to keep, we’ll work with you to integrate the information.

What do I tell people who want to get involved in Cochrane? 

Unless you have a specific idea for how the person can help you, please redirect them to where they can find out about the full range of activities available. We recommend the following email text:

Thank you for your message. To find out more about getting involved with Cochrane's work, please look at the 'Join Cochrane' section of our website:

What options are available to people?

Currently the options include: Cochrane Crowd; TaskExchange activities; authoring; peer reviewing; translating and signing up for communications. The TaskExchange platform is being used for various new activities, such as engagement in Wikipedia editing, and we will continue to create new activities to offer a broad range of options.

Might we now be flooded with people wanting to be authors?

We have tried to make it as off-putting as possible to sign up to be an author! We obviously want the good authors to submit to us, but we have tried to put as much of the EPPR guidance up front to stress the requirements of authoring, so that people don’t enter into it lightly. We have also tried to design the pathway in such a way that it recommends that people try other activities first, or if they don’t have the skills that they should try alternative ways of contributing. 

How will this help us gain better authors?

We hope that giving people alternative ways of getting involved and building skills and experience will mean that when people come to author their first review, they have a better understanding of what is involved. Ideally, we would like people to undertake task-based work first before being accepted as an author, though that is not currently a policy.

When someone says they want to be an author what happens?

They have to complete a skills form, after confirming that they meet the EPPR criteria for being a Cochrane author. They then need to complete an Expression of Interest (EoI) form. Below there are more FAQs regarding the EoI form.

Account issues

How does someone set up a Cochrane account?

They can complete a form to register a Cochrane account at Once completed, the system will then trigger an email to the account they've entered, so that they can complete the authentication/registration process. We recommend the following email text to direct people interested in signing up:

Cochrane account is the only log in you need to access Cochrane's range of services, including Crowd, TaskExchange, RevMan, and Archie. Manage your own account information, sign up for Cochrane newsletters, and update your interests so that we can keep you informed of projects and opportunities tailored to your skills and expertise.

To set up your Cochrane account, please go to the signup page at and follow the instructions. If you have questions, please contact X.

Can someone have more than one account?

They can technically have multiple accounts if they sign up multiple times with different email addresses, but we really want to avoid this for many reasons. If you ever have the opportunity, please stress the importance of having a single Cochrane account for all Cochrane activity and highlight that there is a password reset function should the person forget their password.

How are duplicate accounts managed?

When contributors or CRGs identify duplicate accounts, please notify the team at We’ll work with you and the contributors to get the necessary information to resolve duplicates and ensure contributors still have the access they need.

How will the primary entity work in the new account management structure?

Sometimes Groups need primary entity control to edit an author’s address and permissions. We are working with IT Services to remove this primary entity concept.

Expression of interest in authoring a review form 

What is the EoI for being an author?

The EoI is a form that allows potential authors to state their PICO for their review, as well as why they believe it is an important topic. People are asked to complete this form only if they have identified a specific topic and team. 

What has the person been through to get to this stage?

The potential author has confirmed that they meet Cochrane’s requirements for authors as set out in the EPPR. You can see the details on the Become an Author page. 

Why is it not a full title proposal form?

We wanted to create a way to avoid wasting effort on title forms. We believe that many EoI forms will be rejected quickly, so we will save the Groups and the potential authors time completing a full application for a title that is never likely to proceed.

How are the EoI forms allocated to CRGs?

Where there is a direct match between the topic area and a CRG it will be automatically sent to the CRG by the membership system. Where there is no match, e.g. Cancer, the CET will manually match the title to a Group. We hope that this system will evolve and improve once the CRG networks move forward.

Are they sent to more than one Group?

We only send the EoI to one CRG. 

Can we forward them to another Group?

Yes, if you know it is more relevant to another CRG, please forward it.Please copy into the email when it is forwarded to another Group. 

Will the CRG response to the person submitting the EoI be monitored for anything else other than whether a response has been sent (for example content of response, response time)?

We are keen to ensure that anyone wanting to get involved receives a response. We want this process to be transparent for the benefit of the Groups and the potential authors. Currently we are not asking for further information on the response. 

Why do you say respond within five working days?

We want to encourage quick, transparent responses to these EoI forms. If you feel it merits consideration, you can respond within five days asking them to complete a full application; if you don’t think it is worth pursuing, you should reject it promptly using the template provided in the notification email. 

What if the submitter follows up wanting another title or way to contribute as an author?

We don’t want this new system to create additional correspondence burdens for CRGs, so we recommend the following response: 

Thank you for your continued interest in contributing as an author of a Cochrane Review. The X Review Group does not currently have any topics available for new author teams. If you are still interested in applying to form or join an author team, I suggest you check the Priority Reviews List [], which has a limited number of topics open to new authors. Alternatively, you may choose to proceed with your proposed review for publication in another journal. Otherwise, I can only reiterate my previous recommendation of other pathways to get involved with Cochrane’s work.

I am sorry not to be able to provide more assistance, and I wish you the very best in your endeavours.

Any resulting follow-up can be directed to and we’ll respond with a CET line about organizational policy and limited resources.

Peer review sign up 

What happens to people who sign up to peer review?

Currently these people are tagged accordingly in the membership system. We are working on a mechanism to transfer this information into Archie for use by MEs. We do not have details of how this will work in Archie at present. 

Implications for workflows

Why does it affect Archie workflows?

We need to know what someone has done in order to award them membership at the appropriate time, so if their peer review contributions, for example, are not recorded in Archie workflows, we won’t know they have done that task and so we can’t count that towards their membership. 

What if I don’t currently use workflows for the peer review process?

We want all Groups to use workflows for peer review so that peer reviwers can receive the credit due to them. If you need support transitioning to use workflows, please contact ME Support.

What if my peer reviewers do not have records in Archie?

As part of the roll-out process, we will be discussing with MEs where they currently store their peer review contacts and what the data protection implications are if they are stored outside of Archie. 

Implications for data protection

What implications are there for data protection?

We are tightening up our data protection processes to ensure we are compliant with the law. We will need active consent from people to store their information on our systems and in future we will need to think carefully before adding people’s details to Archie. All of this will be worked through in detail as part of the roll-out with CRGs. 

New data available

What new data will MEs receive?

We hope to be able to help you make decisions about potential authors, peer reviewers, editors etc. in future. This data is held in the membership system, which draws data from other sources such as training records, TaskExchange contributions, etc. We hope to make this data available to MEs in Archie to help with decision-making about people’s abilities to take on a role or task. 

Contacting us

Who is the main contact for Membership?

There is a general mailbox for Cochrane Membership which is This is monitored daily.