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

Issue 02, February 2019


  1. Updating Classification System: decision made to start publishing

  2. Standard Training Materials

  3. Cochrane Style Manual: recent changes

  4. Launch of Editorial Essentials

  5. RevMan Web: What is 'Snapshot from RevMan Web' in Archie History tab?

  6. Cochrane UK & Cochrane Ireland Symposium 2019, Oxford

  7. Welcome

  8. Farewell

1. Updating Classification System: decision made to start publishing

We are pleased to let you know that readers of the Cochrane Library will soon have more insight into editorial decisions about updating Cochrane Reviews. This follows the decision to move ahead with the publication of the Updating Classification System information for Intervention and Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA) Cochrane Reviews. 

About the UCS 

The Updating Classification System (UCS) guides readers as to whether a Cochrane Review is up to date, likely to be updated in future, or does not need updating at the current time. The system can also help Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) with prioritization decisions for individual Cochrane Reviews. The UCS follows a decision framework that asks about the usage and currency of the review question, the availability of new studies or information, and how new information would impact on the review; and also whether new methods will make important changes to the review.  

The current version of the UCS was published as part of the paper that followed on from the 2014 two-day workshop on updating systematic reviews, organized by Cochrane and held at McMaster University; see Following this, Cochrane set up the ability to apply this to Cochrane Reviews in Archie; see guidance in the Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource (EPPR); 

Publishing the UCS 

Cochrane was not able to publish this information alongside the Cochrane Reviews on the old Cochrane Library platform, and therefore launching the new Cochrane Library platform was a dependency. The new Cochrane Library platform was released in August 2018, and Cochrane can prepare for publication of the UCS. 

In December 2018, representatives from the Editorial Board, Managing Editors' Executive, Wiley, and the Editorial and Methods Department (EMD) met to decide when to publish the UCS. Following a review of the UCS's applied to date, the group agreed that the UCS should start to be published, and agreed some steps to move towards this goal. 

The Editorial Policy and Publication Unit in the EMD set up a project to take this forward (Project Publish UCS): 

  • The goal is for all Cochrane Review Groups to have started publishing the ‘update status’ for published Cochrane Reviews (intervention and DTA) by the end of 2019. (Note: the minimum will be all reviews published in 2018 and 2019). 

  • There are several objectives to help meet the goal, including defining simple criteria to clarify when a CRG's UCS can start to be published, updating the UCS guidance, and providing support and training. 

  • The Project Team is responsible for delivering the project – Harriet MacLehose (Project Lead), Sally Bell-Syer (ME Support), and Monaz Mehta (Knowledge Translation Content Editor). 

  • The Project Board is providing oversight, ensuring the project stays on track, and expertise across different areas – Nicole Skoetz, Paul Garner, Emma Dennett, Clare Jess, David Tovey (Project Sponsor), Deborah Pentesco-Murphy, Karla Soares-Weiser, Toby Lasserson, and Yemisi Takwoingi. 

What are the next steps for CRGs? 

Over the next few weeks, the Project Team will be working with some volunteer CRGs to finalize the short publishing checklist for the new 'update status' information. Each CRG will be asked to complete the checklist before the CRG's UCS data will be 'switched on' for publication. Once we have completed the checklist and the volunteer CRGs have applied this to all the relevant Cochrane Reviews (minimum is reviews published in 2018 and 2019), then we will switch on publication and check that this is successful. At this point, we will open this up to all CRGs. 
Alongside this, we will update the UCS guide and make training and support for applying the UCS available. We also plan on setting up a UCS strategy group to provide guidance or proposals for strategies to address UCS workload and implementation issues.
We will provide regular updates, but please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries in the meantime.


If you have any questions about this project, please contact any member of the Project Team:   Harriet MacLehose (, Sally Bell-Syer (, Monaz Mehta (   

2. Standard Training Materials
Standard Training Materials can be used in face-to-face training of systematic review authors. The materials provide an introduction to the core methods used by most Cochrane systematic reviews of interventions. The presentations have been developed by Cochrane Training and approved by the relevant Cochrane Methods Groups.  

You can download a zip file with all slides and additional materials (exercises, handouts etc.). These may be useful to any of you involved in a training role: 

3. Cochrane Style Manual: recent changes

The Cochrane Style Manual ( is your source for guidance on terminology, names, and usage for Cochrane Reviews and other Cochrane content. The Manual is continually revised, and here some of the recent updates or additions:

See Latest changes for a complete list of major changes. Suggestions for changes or additions to the Cochrane Style Manual are welcome and can be submitted via the Cochrane Ideas Style Manual forum.

4. Launch of Editorial Essentials
Editorial Essentials is a one-stop-shop for anyone involved in Cochrane editorial work to find the training materials, guidance and other information they need.

For those who are just taking up an editorial role in Cochrane, the new resource can be used as an induction tool. For those who already have experience in editorial work, it can be used to refresh their knowledge and quickly find resources.

Editorial Essentials is available here: or just go to the Cochrane Training homepage and follow the link. You will need a Cochrane Account to access the resource.

The training and support available for those in editorial roles will continue to develop, with new resources becoming available in 2019. Please do let us know if you have suggestions for particular areas where further training, support or guidance is required to support editorial work in Cochrane. Feedback is welcome at
5. RevMan Web: What is 'Snapshot from RevMan Web' in Archie History tab?
The status 'Snapshot from RevMan Web' is automatically generated in the History tab of a protocol/review whenever a protocol/review that is available in RevMan Web is checked out in RevMan 5. This is to ensure that the user (who wants to work in RevMan 5) gets the latest version of the review.
6. Cochane UK & Cochrane Ireland Symposium 2019, Oxford
Registration is now open for this event which is on 21-22 March 2019.

There will be a ME/AMEs meeting on Friday 22 March 2-4 PM. Further details will be emailed via the MEs mailing list.
7.  Welcome
Welcome to Kristoffer Andresen, the new ME for Colorectal Cancer, based in Denmark.

Kristoffer is already a review author for the Group.
8. Farewell
Cochrane Wounds say goodbye to Ursula Gonthier who has been Editorial Assistant since September 2015. Ursula has been appointed Senior Community Support Officer (to replace the role that Jordi Pardo held) which is now a full-time post. We wish Ursula all the best in her new role.
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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