This page presents search peer review resources to support the pilot Editorial Independence and Efficiency Project, information specialists conducting search peer review for Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs), and recommendations:
- Information Specialists Executive 2019 White Paper on incorporating peer review of search methods and strategies
- Section 4.4.8 Peer review of search strategies, of Chapter 4: Searching for and selecting studies in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions
Finding a Peer Reviewer
The Information Specialists Executive White Paper encourages peer review within CRGs and the 8 CRG Networks. Please contact information specialists within your network to request peer review. If an information specialist cannot be located within your Network, please send a request to the Cochrane Information Specialists' email discussion list.
Conducting a Peer Review
An evidence-based checklist or appraisal form, such as the tools developed for the PRESS Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies 2015 Guideline Statement, should be used to focus the review on the key elements of the strategy that are most likely to impact search retrieval. Use of an appraisal form has also been shown to reduce the time it takes to conduct search peer review (Relevo and Paynter 2012, Spry et al 2013).
Please also see our FAQs for information specialist peer reviewers.
Recommended forms integrating MECIR standards and PRESS elements:
- PROTOCOLS: Search methods and strategy peer review assessment form for Cochrane intervention protocols
- FULL REVIEWS: Search methods and strategy peer review assessment form for Cochrane intervention reviews
- UPDATES: Search methods and strategy peer review assessment form for Cochrane intervention updates
Sample peer review assessment forms:
Peer Review Training Resources & Pilot Report
The Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team hosted a webinar on peer review of search strategies on 7 February 2019:
The Cochrane Musculoskeletal, Oral, Skin and Sensory (MOSS) Network conducted a pilot peer review project during 2018. A report on the pilot is available to download.
Last update: Jan 2022