ME Support Digest
           Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

Issue 9, October 2018


  1. Changes in the Editorial and Methods Department's Editorial Policy and Publication Unit’s team roles and job titles
  2. Changes to the Cochrane Library Comments system: update
  3. ALERT: checking in Reviews that are being prepared in REVMAN WEB
  4. COPE: diversity in peer review – resource for CRGs
  5. REMINDER: ME Support queries
  6. Nuggets from the Copy-Edit team
  7. Farewell
1. Changes in the Editorial and Methods Department's Editorial Policy and Publication Unit’s team roles and job titles

We are sharing an update about changes in the Editorial and Methods Department's Editorial Policy and Publication Unit.
The Editorial Policy and Publication Unit’s remit includes editorial policies, editorial and publication management systems, Cochrane Library publication developments, and copy-editing for Cochrane publications. While we have no changes in our team, we have reviewed the team roles and job titles as follows:
Editor, Digital Publishing: John Hilton

John oversees the editorial management and publication of Editorial and Methods Department (EMD) content on the Cochrane Library; contributes to the ongoing product and related editorial developments of the Cochrane Library; and oversees the strategic development of Cochrane’s copy-editing service and related Cochrane Style Manual. Contact:
Editor, Editorial Policy: Bryony Urquhart
Bryony focuses on ensuring that content published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), Cochrane Library, is underpinned by the use of current and best practice editorial and related publication policies. Bryony is also responsible for developing and updating the Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource. Contact:
Editor, Knowledge Translation: Monaz Mehta
Monaz manages the development and publication of content related to the dissemination and use of Cochrane articles, including Special Collections, Cochrane Review related content (including Podcasts and Journal Club), and Cochrane Library browse. Monaz works closely with the Knowledge Translation (KT) Department. Contact:
Managing Editor (ME) Support: Sally Bell-Syer, Liz Dooley, Anupa Shah
The ME Support team provides induction training, ongoing training, and support to MEs in core aspects of their role within a Cochrane Review Group. The team provides support for editorial management and publication systems for Cochrane Reviews, and provides guidance to accompany editorial and publication policies. Contact:  Managing Editor Support reports to Bryony Urquhart (Editor, Editorial Policy).
Copy-editing Manager: Elizabeth Royle
Elizabeth manages the copy-editing activities for the Cochrane Library, including providing a timely and high-quality copy-editing service, developing the Cochrane Style Manual, and taking part in related strategic initiatives. Contact:
eroyle@cochrane.orgThe Copy-editing Manager reports to John Hilton (Editor, Digital Publishing).
Best wishes
Harriet MacLehose
Senior Editor and Lead, Editorial Policy and Publication Unit
2. Changes to the Cochrane Library Comments system: update

The new Cochrane Library platform includes a new system for the submission and publication of Comments on Cochrane Reviews, Protocols and Editorials, but the publication aspect is not yet available to Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs).

Comment submission: Cochrane Library users are continuing to submit Comments on the new site, and CRGs are receiving notification of relevant new comments by email from Wiley. You may have noticed that within the emails, the line breaks are missing from the comment text, sometimes making them hard to read. We are aware of this issue and we are working with the Cochrane Library team to fix that.
Comment publication: This system is not yet available to CRGs. We need to make some further changes and carry out some further tests to ensure this works easily and reliably for CRG users. We will be in touch again in due course with details of how and when to use and access the new Comments publishing system, along will full documentation and training materials. Until then please continue to handle Comments as before (see current guidance).
With the new publication system, CRGs will retain responsibility for assessing, editing and publishing Comments, and all decisions relating to Comment publication will remain with the CRG. The new Comments publication system will, however, involve three important changes:

  1. Comments will be stored and managed in a new system that forms part of the Cochrane Library.
  2. Comments will be published as independent items directly from the new system. (There will be no need to republish the associated Review or Protocol in order to publish a Comment.)
  3. The Feedback section of Reviews and Protocols will no longer be used for new comments, although existing content will be retained in that section.

If you have any questions please contact John Hilton ( or Sophia Wheat (

3. ALERT:  Checking in Reviews that are being prepared in REVMAN WEB

For reviews available in RevMan Web, MEs cannot check in a review version (in Archie or RM5) without checking out the review first. This means that you cannot check in versions received from authors, like many of you are used to do.
If you decide to check out first and then check in a version from an author, you should make sure that no other edits will get overwritten. You can do this by comparing what you checked out, with the version you received, and if needed merge the versions. This is anyway, what was recommended before.
The reason for this change is, that checking in, without checking out first, would overwrite any edits made in RevMan Web. Checking out a review in Archie will take a copy of the latest version of the review in RevMan Web and lock it from further editing in RevMan Web, while it is checked out. One of the advantages of RevMan Web is that several authors can work on the review on the same time. So in the future, the need to check in versions for authors will hopefully be reduced.
If a conflict of versions does occur and you are not able to solve it, please contact
You can determine whether a review is available in RevMan Web by checking the Properties on the review in Archie. The General tab will show "- in Review Database" under Availability if the review is available in RevMan Web.
4. COPE: diversity in peer review – resource for CRGs
The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) recently published a summary of their resources developed during Peer Review Week 2018 (, which had the theme of “Diversity in Peer Review”.  Resources include a podcast on the topic of diversity in peer review, and an updated eLearning module on peer reviewer misconduct.  Consider taking 5 mins of  your time to complete the COPE  survey on diversity in peer review (available here: for your CRG (for the purposes of the survey your membership type is “journal editor” ). The questions provide food for thought regarding what diversity is, how diverse the current peer reviewer pool is, whether more diversity is welcome, and, if so, the steps that Cochrane should be taking to increase diversity in our peer review process.
COPE publishes a wealth of resources relating to ethical practice in academic publishing, including best practice documents, guidance documents, 10 eLearning modules and flow charts.  All CRGs are members of COPE via Wiley, publishers of the Cochrane Library, and can access all of these resources in addition to attending COPE forums and seminars.  If you need help to access COPE resources or to activate your membership, please contact Tony Aburrow at Wiley (
5. REMINDER: ME Support queries
When contacting ME Support, please ensure you include as much information as possible in your message. For example, if the query is about a particular review or workflow, please provide the name of the review. This will ensure that responses are given in a timely manner.
Please contact the Community Support Team on issues around RevMan, Cochrane Interactive Learning, membership or other organisational initiatives
6. Nuggets from the Copy-Edit team
‘Characteristics‘ tables: general formatting
At present there is no specific section in the Style Manual that provides advice on how to format tables of Characteristics of included studies, ongoing studies and studies awaiting assessment, though one is planned.  Relevant points are spread throughout the manual, but the basics have been brought together here for ease of reference.
Main formatting points for ‘Characteristics‘ tables
  • Follow colons with lower case letters, except for proper nouns or acronyms (e.g. H pylori, WHO-accredited, MRI).
  • Do not use full stops at ends of incomplete sentences (e.g. ‘Randomised: yes’ rather than ‘Randomised: yes.’).
  • Use bulleted or numbered points, not a mixture of both.  The choice should match what is used in the rest of the review.
  • Numbers should be accompanied by qualifiers e.g. ASA I = 3, SD = 0.2, or units e.g. 5 mg, average age 32.5 years (SD 2.3 years), though the following type of statement is fine and does not need to be adjusted, ‘Main surgical procedures (n): open cholecystectomy (26), open cholecystectomy with CBD exploration (3), partial gastrectomy (1)’.
  • Ensure there is a space between numbers and units (e.g. 50 µg, 10 mg/kg).
  • Write ‘years’, ‘weeks’, ‘days’ and ‘minutes’ in full, do not abbreviate.
  • Do not report results in these tables.
  • Insert a list of abbreviations used at the end of each table in the Footnotes section.
‘Risk of bias’ tables
  • Insert “Quote: “ ahead of any quotations.
  • Present quotations in normal text, not italics.
  • Use double quotation marks (“) rather than single ones (‘) around quotations.
  • There is no need to apply Cochrane style to the text of quotations – quote them as they appeared in the original publication.
7. Farewell
…. And farewell to Christina Geros, Assistant ME with the EPOC Satellite in Australia and the Musculoskeletal Review Group.
Contact us...
If you have any questions about any of the above items, or about any aspect of your ME role, regardless of your location, please contact us at

The Cochrane Managing Editor Support Team:
Anupa Shah | Liz Dooley | Sally Bell-Syer | Bryony Urquhart
Managing Editor Support Website
Managing Editor Support Website

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