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

Issue 5 | June, 2018

1. Updated peer reviewer checklists and workflow email templates
2. Changes to the Comments (Feedback) system on the Cochrane Library: support and webinars

3. Updating Classification System: update on publication
4. Copy-editing tips
- 'Characteristics of ...'tables: general formatting
- Main formatting for 'Characteristics of...' tables
- 'Risk of bias' tables

5. Tips and tricks
- Affiliation versus Contact Address
- RevMan 'Insert Link To...' tool
6. Welcome and farewell

1. Updated peer reviewer checklists and workflow email templates
The Editorial Resources Committee's peer reviewer checklists have all been updated in-line with the new peer review policy and are available directly from the EPPR peer review policy guidance section 4  ( The updated peer reviewer checklists can of course also be accessed from the MEs Portal under the Editorial/Policy section.
The following sections have been updated:
    1. Conflict of interest
    2. Acknowledgement and anonymity
The forms have also been updated to include a link to the peer review policy and to change all instances of “referee” to “peer reviewer”.  
If you use the forms, please ensure that you download the most recent versions.
If you do not use these forms, please ensure that you include the updated sections in your communications with peer reviewers.

Contact: Bryony Urquhart, ( Editorial Policy and Publication Unit, Editorial & Methods Department 
Workflow email templates
To complement the peer review policy update, ME Support has uploaded 8 workflow email templates to Archie.

There are three new email templates to help you decide which documents to attach to the peer reviewer’s workflow email to review and comment on drafts:
Make draft protocol available to peer reviewer
Make draft review available to peer reviewer
Make draft update review available to peer reviewer

And five new email templates that will replace existing templates. We have named these ‘NEW2018’ so you can distinguish them from the existing email templates:
NEW2018 Decision: Agree to serve as peer reviewer on draft protocol or review/update review?
NEW2018 Decision: Agree to serve as peer reviewer on draft update review?
NEW2018 Review and comment on draft protocol
NEW2018 Review and comment on draft review
NEW2018 Review and comment on draft update review

We retained the existing email templates as the NEW2018 templates contain information that will not become mandatory until January 2019, e.g. adopting an open named peer reviewer policy, and including a section declaring any conflict of interests. You can decide when to start using the NEW2018 templates.
2. Changes to the Comments (Feedback) system on the Cochrane Library: support and webinars
The forthcoming new Cochrane Library platform includes a new system for the submission, management, and publication of Comments (previously referred to as Feedback). The underlying principles will remain as now: Cochrane Library users will be able to submit comments on a review or protocol, and those comments will be passed (after some basic checks) to Cochrane Review Groups to assess, publish (if appropriate) and consider any implications for the related review. But there are three important changes:
  1. Comments will be stored and managed in a new system on the Cochrane Library platform.
  2. Comments will be published on the Cochrane Library 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.
To support Groups with these changes, we will be preparing documentation and training videos, and we are also running a webinar for Managing Editors. This webinar will run twice to support different time zones. This webinar will explain the changes and demonstrate the new process and the supporting resources that are available. It will also give people a chance to ask questions.

21 June 2018, 09:00 Toronto/14:00 UK
More details and sign up here:

22 June 2018, 07:00 UK/16:00 East Coast Australia
More details and sign up here

Contact: John Hilton, ( Editorial Policy and Publication Unit, Editorial & Methods Department
3. Updating Classification System: update on publication 
The ability to publish the updating classification system (UCS) is dependent on the full launch of the Cochrane Library, which is currently in Beta. Once the new platform release is complete, we will plan for the publication of the UCS.

Contact: Harriet MacLehose
(, Senior Editor and Lead, Editorial Policy and Publication Unit, Editorial & Methods Department
4. Copy-editing tips 
‘Characteristics of … ‘ 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 of … ‘ 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.
Contact: Elizabeth Royle, ( Copy Edit Support Manager, Editorial Policy and Publication Unit, Editorial & Methods Department
6. Tips and tricks 
Affiliation versus Contact address
By default, each person in Archie has an associated single contact address with the label 'Contact'. The contact address is used when exporting data or labels and is the one shown by default on a person's Properties sheet. The ‘Contact’ address in Archie cannot be used in a byline for an author or contact person.
If you need to edit an authors’ address displayed in a byline, you need to edit the ‘Affiliation(s)’ address(s), not the ‘Contact’ address. (See Archie Help > People > About addresses).
RevMan 'Insert Link To...' tool
This is a handy tip to ensure all multiple bracketed citations are presented chronologically, or alphabetically, not a mixture of both. In RevMan, select the references inside the bracket (do not include the brackets), click on the 'Insert Link' icon, and select the appropriate arrangement. It is much faster than reordering citations manually.
6. Welcome and farewell 
Congratulations to Doug Salzwedel, who has taken up Assistant Managing Editor role with the Hypertension Group.
Farewell to Alea Miller, ME for the Urology Group, and Gemma O'Loughlin, Assistant ME from the  Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group.
Contacting us...
If you have questions about any of the above items, or about any aspect of your ME role, regardless of your location, please contact us at

Best wishes,
ME Support team

ME Support | | Anupa Shah (Skype cochraneeyes) | Liz Dooley (Skype lizdooley) | Sally Bell-Syer (Skype sally.bellsyer) | Harriet MacLehose (Skype hgmaclehose)

Cochrane: Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health. ǀ
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