Cochrane Style Manual 2.0

In this section: Frequently used names | Names specific to Cochrane | Family names | Pharmaceutical drug names | Organism names | Virus names | Country and ethnic group names

Frequently used names

Correct usage

Examples of incorrect usage

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Abbreviation: CDC

Centers for Disease Control

Center for Disease Control

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Centre for Disease Control

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention






Note: the GRADE system is used to assess the quality of evidence in reviews, and summary of findings tables are generated using the GRADEpro GDT software.

Note: the abbreviation GRADE does not need to be defined in Cochrane Reviews (see Common abbreviations that do not need to be defined).




Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation


Note: the abbreviation PRISMA does not need to be defined in Cochrane Reviews (see Common abbreviations that do not need to be defined).


Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses




World Health Organization

World Health Organisation

Web of Science

Web of science


Presentation of terms and names specific to Cochrane

Note: the following table displays the correct spelling and formatting of terms names specific to Cochrane.

Correct usage

Incorrect usage



author or review author





In certain cases: The Cochrane Collaboration

Note: the full legal name of the organization is The Cochrane Collaboration, and this name was in general use prior to 2015.

the Cochrane Collaboration

The Collaboration

the collaboration

The Cochrane Central Executive Team is divided into four directorates:

  • Evidence Production and Methods Directorate
  • Publishing and Technology Directorate
  • Development Directorate
  • Finance and Corporate Services

Its work is co-ordinated by the Executive Leadership Team, led by the Chief Executive Officer.


  • Editorial & Methods Department
  • KT Department
  • Publishing, Research & Development Department
  • Finance Services
  • Informatics and Technology Services
  • People Services

Cochrane Groups:

  • Thematic Groups
  • Fields
  • Networks
  • Methods Groups
  • Review Groups
  • Review Group Networks
  • Geographic Groups
    • Associate Centres
    • Centres
    • Geographic Networks
    • Affiliates

For names of Cochrane Groups, see:

Cochrane groups


Methods groups


the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials

The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)

Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)

Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials (CENTRAL)

the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Note: use italics for the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (because it is a journal).

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

Note: can be referred to as 'the Cochrane Handbook' or 'the Handbook' in short after first mention, depending on context.

Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook

The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

The Handbook

the Cochrane Library

'…in the Cochrane Library'

The Cochrane Library

the Cochrane Library

'…on The Cochrane Library'

the Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource

the Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Manual

The Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource

the Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource

the Cochrane Methodology Register

The Cochrane Methodology Register

Cochrane review protocol

protocol for a Cochrane review

Cochrane Protocol

Cochrane Review Protocol

Cochrane review

Cochrane Systematic Review

Cochrane Intervention Review

Cochrane Review

Cochrane Review Group

Collaborative Review Group

Review Group

the Cochrane Style Manual

the Style Manual line with Cochrane style...

Cochrane Style Essentials

the Cochrane Style manual

The Cochrane Style Manual

the Cochrane Style Guide

the style manual

the Style Guide line with Cochrane Style...

Cochrane Style Manual Basics



Co-ordinating Editor

Coordinating Editor

Information Specialist (as a role in a Cochrane Group)

Note: Before March 2016, Information Specialists were known as Trials Search Co-ordinators

Information specialist

Trial Search Co-ordinator

Trials Search Coordinator

Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR)

Methodological expectations of Cochrane intervention reviews




Review Manager 5

RevMan 5 (abbreviation)

RevMan (formerly referred to as 'RevMan Web')





RoB 1

RoB 2

Note: these are official names for the Cochrane risk of bias tools


Rob 2

rob 2

Risk of bias 2





Family names

Where names have designation of rank within a family, such as 'Jr' or 'III', place family designations of rank at the end of the name, without punctuation, and use Arabic ordinals rather than Roman numerals.

Examples (in text): write

'James M LeMesurier, Jr' as 'James M LeMesurier Jr'
'Roger G Smith III' as 'Roger G Smith 3rd'

Examples (in references section)

'James M LeMesurier, Jr.' becomes 'LeMesurier JM Jr'
'Roger G Smith III' becomes 'Smith RG 3rd'

Some family names have specific formatting, and there may be regional differences. For consistency, in the text Chinese names should follow a Westernized style, that is, first name followed by the family name: first name/personal name (名字 míngzi) and family name/surname (姓 xìng). Formatting of Dutch family names should follow the style from the table below. It is advisable to seek confirmation from Cochrane authors before modifying.

General guidance on Dutch family names in the text

First name (or initial) before the family name

van, de, der, and ter start with a lower-case letter

'Danielle van der Windt' or 'DA van der Windt'

Only family name used

Van, De, Der, and Ter start with an upper-case letter

'Van der Windt'


Pharmaceutical drug names

Refer to pharmaceutical drugs using the Recommended International Nonproprietary Name (generic name; rINN; see note below), rather than the brand name. This system helps avoid confusion where common names for drugs differ around the world; for example, acetaminophen is commonly used in the USA, but it is more commonly known as paracetamol (also the rINN) in the UK. If needed, however, place the brand name in brackets after the rINN. A rINN should start with a lower-case letter, while a brand name starts with an upper-case letter. For example, the rINN for one type of antibiotic is ‘ciprofloxacin’. This could be presented as ‘ciprofloxacin’ alone or ‘ciprofloxacin (Ciproxin)’ if essential, but not as ‘Ciproxin’ alone.

Useful resources for locating or checking the rINN are the British National Formulary (which provides information on medicines prescribed in the UK), the WHO MedNet (which can be accessed for free upon registration), and the WHO Model Formulary (which provides comprehensive information on medicines in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines).

Note: “International Nonproprietary Names (INN) facilitate the identification of pharmaceutical substances or active pharmaceutical ingredients. Each INN is a unique name that is globally recognized and is public property. A nonproprietary name is also known as a generic name." (World Health Organization, International Nonproprietary Names Programme and Classification of Medical Products, International Nonproprietary Names. (accessed 3 May 2024)).

There is no need to use trademark symbols (® or ™) with brand names. These symbols (® for registered; ™ for unregistered) are intended for use by owners of brand names to assert their ownership in their own documentation and advertising. There is no need to use these symbols with drug or product names in Cochrane reviews, but brand names should always have an initial capital letter and correct spelling. If there is potential misunderstanding or ambiguity about the status of a name, the text should make it clear that it is a brand name, with the company name added if needed.

Organism names

Names of organisms are given in the form Genus species (e.g. Plasmodium falciparum, Staphylococcus aureus). The genus name starts with an upper-case letter, and the species name is all lower case. Both are italicized. Once an organism's name has been stated in full, use the abbreviated form thereafter. For the abbreviated form use the initial letter of the genus followed by the species name (e.g. P falciparum, S aureus).

Virus names

Do not italicize a virus name when used generically or when referring to a strain (e.g. herpes simplex virus, influenza A (H1N1) virus), and do not use capital letters unless the virus name includes a proper noun (e.g. West Nile virus, Ebola virus). Italicize species, genus, and family of a virus when used in a taxonomic sense. In this case, virus names should follow the rules of orthography of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The table below summarizes how to format virus names, but refer to for a full overview of ICTV recommendations. It is usually not necessary to mention the taxonomy of a virus if it is well known.

Formatting of virus names

Note: this information comes from where there are further examples of formatting rules and a full taxonomy index.

Type of term


Virus order, family, subfamily, or genusItalics with first letter of the name capitalizedHerpesvirales (order)
Herpesviridae (family)
Alphaherpesvirinae (subfamily)
Simplexvirus (genus)
Species name

Italics with the first letter of the first name capitalized. Never abbreviate species names.

Exceptions: proper nouns, parts of proper nouns, or alphabetical identifiers may be capitalized even if they occur as the second word.

Human alphaherpesvirus 1
Mumps virus

West Nile virus
Influenza A virus
Enterovirus A
Virus strain or generic nameNot italicized and the first letter of the first word is not capitalized, unless it is a proper noun or includes alphabetical identifiersEbola virus
herpes simplex virus
influenza A (H1N1) virus

Country and ethnic groups' names

Refer to the section on international considerations for guidance on country names and ethnic group names.

Section info
Elizabeth Royle (
Describe change
Information added about Cochrane Directorates.
Change date
3 May 2024