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?

Across the programme of work

This programme of work covers the EMS and linked production systems (from when content leaves the EMS up to publication). There have been multiple projects within the programme. The team has set up the programme, including individual projects and teams, for the active projects (listed below) with rough timelines.

Project: Implementation of Editorial Manager

The goal of this project is to prepare for all Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) to begin using Editorial Manager by mapping Cochrane’s editorial workflow onto the system. Included in this project is a comprehensive training plan for Cochrane Support teams, training for CRG members, resources for reference while using Editorial Manager, and testing of the system’s integration with Cochrane systems. The Fertility Regulation Group began piloting Editorial Manager in March 2021, with a goal for the Children and Families Network to be using the system for new editorial submissions by early April 2021. Further implementation will move forward on a Network-by-Network basis, with ample time for training and practice prior to going live. Each Network will begin using Editorial Manager for new submissions only, and then integrate reviews currently underway later in the year. Current planning is for all CRGs to be using Editorial Manager for new submissions by late June 2021, and for all editorial work by October 2021.

In-depth training and support plans for all CRG staff have been developed, and Cochrane’s Community Support, Managing Editor Support, and EMS Community Liaison teams are being provided training on the system now. 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. Documentation of how key Cochrane processes will work within Editorial Manager and instructions on how to carry out specific tasks will be 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 implementation should be directed to

See below for previous project updates.

Cochrane Team

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

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

Programme Manager: Obi Onuora

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

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: 5 March 2021