Cochrane peer review policy

Cochrane peer review policy statement:

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) is a peer reviewed publication, which means that every Cochrane Review is evaluated by one or more specialists external to the Airways editorial team before publication, and Cochrane Airways’ authors have the opportunity to revise the Cochrane Review in response to feedback.

Cochrane’s peer review policy covers the peer review of all Cochrane Reviews and Protocols, including Overviews, Prognosis Reviews and Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA), and also Cochrane Editorials and supplements. 

Additional information on Cochrane’s peer review policy specific to Cochrane Airways
1    Timelines (unless an extension has been agreed in advance)
Peer review comments on Protocols should be returned within 10 days and within 14 days for Reviews.

2    Staff roles in the peer review process
The Assistant Managing Editor has responsibility for managing the peer review process including identifying appropriate peer reviewers, sending out requests, the documents for peer review and collating peer reviewer comments.  The Managing Editor will assist in this process from time-to-time.  The Joint Co-ordinating Editor will approve the peer review comments before onward transmission to the author team.  The Managing Editor and Joint Coordinating Editor will ensure that the author team have responded to the peer review comments appropriately.

3    Number and expertise of peer/consumer reviewers
Cochrane Airways will seek three sets of peer reviewer comments for Reviews and two sets of comments for Protocols.  The peer reviewers will usually be clinical/topic specialists and sometimes methodologists/statisticians but we also have our own expertise in-house for this.  In line with Cochrane’s peer review policy, Cochrane Airways endeavours to gain the expertise of at least one consumer reviewer per Protocol and Review in addition to the above quota. 

4    Consumer peer review
Consumers have an important role to play in the peer review of Airways’ Protocols and Reviews, and it is an expectation that we will seek involvement from consumers, or from other potential stakeholders/users of the Cochrane Review. Consumer peer review ensures that Cochrane Review questions are relevant to people requiring and accessing health care, and that meaningful outcomes and potential harms are considered.

Cochrane Airways is fully committed to complying with Cochrane’s peer review policy with regards to consumers and will aim for at least one set of consumer comments per Protocol/Review.  For more information on the role that consumers have within Cochrane and the support on offer, please visit the Cochrane Consumer Network website.

5    Conflict resolution
If you have any concerns or disagreements concerning the peer review process, please contact the Assistant Managing Editor in the first instance who will try to resolve the conflict in conjunction with other members of the Airways editorial team.  We may request that peer reviewers provide more evidence for their comments, and we may solicit the opinion of other peer reviewers, involve the DTA Editorial team, or invite additional peer reviewers, as appropriate, to help resolve conflict.   Note that authors are required to respond to peer reviewers’ comments adequately (see Section 7 "Addressing peer reviewers’ comments" in the Cochrane Peer Review Policy.  If Cochrane Airways is unable to resolve a concern or disagreement, the case may be referred to the Editor in Chief by either the authors or the Airways editorial team, using the  Cochrane Library appeals process or complaints procedure, as appropriate.

If you have any queries regarding our peer review policy, please contact Emma Jackson, Assistant Managing Editor.