Several resources have been developed to support author teams to conduct Cochrane COVID Rapid Reviews. Templates for protocols and full reviews are intended to help author teams produce these crucial reviews as quickly as possible and to a high methodological standard.
Authors are encouraged to review Cochrane’s priority areas and Information for authors before embarking on a review. In particular, authors should consider the information required for the accompanying cover letter when the protocol is submitted, which the editorial team will use to decide whether the review can be pursued within Cochrane.
Authors should check whether related reviews are already underway by searching registry platforms such as PROSPERO and the UNCOVER register. Epistemonikos L.OVE or COVID-19 Evidence Reviews are also useful to check for published reviews.
Authors may wish to use the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register to conduct preliminary searches to check whether any studies are available to answer the question and inform a feasible scope for the review. The Epistemonikos L.OVE is also recommended to help authors revise unformed review questions, estimate search results when broadening or narrowing a topic, or check the review's final included studies before submitting for publication.
The standard workflow provides a framework for managing review production and setting expectations about responsibilities and timelines at the outset of the review.
The protocol template is designed for rapid reviews of interventions to address priority questions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The template aims to maximize quality and efficiency in the review process and may be adapted or improved as rapid reviews are published. All sections should be completed, and no inclusion/exclusion decisions made until the protocol has been finalized.
The content is based on a template used by Cochrane Response and methods have been adapted in line with the definition of a Rapid Review proposed by the Cochrane Rapid Reviews Methods Group:
“a form of knowledge synthesis that accelerates the process of conducting a traditional systematic review through streamlining or omitting specific methods to produce evidence for stakeholders in a resource-efficient manner.”
Approaches recommended by the Rapid Reviews Methods Group (see Guidance below) are indicated throughout the protocol by the prespecified ticked boxes but may need to be amended and tailored to the review question (if you deviate from the recommendations, please specify why).
Full review template
A full review template has been developed as a Word document to complements the protocol template. The review template has been designed to allow reviews to be written up and submitted easily while maximizing quality and readability. Like the protocol template, the full review template may be adapted and refined as rapid reviews are published.
Links to additional guidance
- Methods guidance from the Rapid Reviews Methods Group.
- Guidance on including qualitative evidence from the Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group.
- Guidance on diagnostic test accuracy reviews from the Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group.
- Guidance on prognosis reviews from the Prognosis Methods Group.