Cochrane's Central Editorial Service

Cochrane’s Central Editorial Service aims to support Review Group Networks to deliver reviews identified as high priority in their strategic plan.

Cochrane’s Central Editorial Service has been instrumental in the Cochrane’s COVID-19 response, managing the editorial process for the following published reviews:

To submit a COVID-19 rapid review to the Central Editorial Service please see this page for further instructions.

Cochrane’s Central Editorial Service, previously known as the Fast-Track Service, is managed by the Central Editorial Service Team, in collaboration with the relevant Cochrane Review Group. It will draw on the combined expertise and resources of the Editorial and Methods Department, Cochrane Review Groups, Networks and Methods Groups to ensure a streamlined editorial process.

The original Fast-Track Service, piloted in 2017, had as its rationale to provide an expedited, ‘journal-like’ route to publication in the Cochrane Library and facilitate the publication of high-priority and high-impact reviews. From the pilot, it was identified that most submissions to the Fast-Track service were not primarily for reasons of speed. With the demand of a centralised, collaborative service determined from the results of the pilot to cater the needs of the community, it was stablished that we could facilitate the publication of priority reviews by running an efficient, collaborative central editorial service that could take into consideration submissions based on a variety of factors.

Cochrane’s Central Editorial Service will:

  • support the editorial process of the publication of high-priority, high-quality reviews
  • support Cochrane Review Groups and Networks to deliver on their strategic plans
  • offer flexibility to systematic review authors
  • attract high-impact reviews that may otherwise not be published with Cochrane

We have comprehensive acceptance criteria for the Central Editorial Service. The key points are that a review may be eligible if it:

  • focuses on an important topic that will influence policy or practice. For example, your review may be addressing a key knowledge gap or have been commissioned by a guideline developer or consumer group and
  • is of high quality, and requires no major revisions prior to publication and
  • has a protocol. This does not have to be published with Cochrane, as long as it complies with our policy on protocols .

From acceptance onto the Central Editorial Service to publication of the review, we aim for 12-19 weeks for a standard intervention review. This may be subject to variation depending on the extent of input from the Central Editorial Service and requirements of the guideline developer. Please read about our editorial process for further details.

  • In accordance with Cochrane’s Content Strategy, we welcome reviews with more complex methodology e.g. prognosis or diagnostic test accuracy reviews, or reviews containing individual patient data. For such reviews the editorial process timescale may increase, and we would utilise expertise from Cochrane’s Methods Groups in order to assess these reviews appropriately and ensure high quality standards.
  • The Central Editorial Service adheres to Cochrane’s editorial policies, including policies on peer review, rejection of reviews, plagiarism and the appeals policy and process .

If you think your review is a good fit of the Central Editorial Service, please contact the Central Editorial Service Managing Editor, Helen Wakeford, on editorial-service@cochrane.org to discuss your application further.

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