Fast-Track Service

The Cochrane Fast-Track Service provides a rapid ‘journal-like’ editorial process for some of Cochrane’s highest priority reviews.

The Fast-Track Service:

  • expedites the publication of high-priority, high-quality reviews
  • supports Cochrane Review Groups and Networks to deliver on their strategic plans
  • offers flexibility and speed to systematic review authors
  • aims to attract high-impact reviews that may otherwise not be published with Cochrane

The Fast-Track editorial process is managed by the Editorial and Methods Department Fast-Track Team, in collaboration with the relevant Cochrane Review Group. We draw on the combined expertise and resources of the Editorial and Methods Department, Cochrane Review Groups, Networks and Methods Groups to ensure a rapid and streamlined editorial process.

Reviews that enter the Fast-Track Service have been identified as high-priority by the Review Group Network. For example, they may be commissioned by a guideline developer, consumer group or be addressing a key knowledge gap.

Reviews must have a pre-registered protocol which meets the standards specified in our policy on protocols, but it does not necessarily have to be a Cochrane protocol.

In order for the editorial process to be streamlined, there is a high quality threshold for acceptance onto the Fast-Track. Please read our acceptance criteria for full details.

From acceptance onto the Fast-Track 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 Fast-Track 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 Fast-Track 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 Fast-Track Service adheres to Cochrane’s editorial policies, including policies on peer review, rejection of reviews, plagiarism and the appeals policy and process.