Starting a new protocol

Here you can find and download a variety of information and support materials to help you develop your protocol. 

What happens when my title has been approved?

You will receive an email from us confirming approval of your proposal for a Cochrane review. We will prepare a template protocol file for you and let you know when it is ready for you to use. To access this file and develop your protocol you will need to install RevMan 5 software. 

How do I access my RevMan5 file?

You and your co-authors will need to access ‘Archie’, the Cochrane Collaboration’s central server for managing and storing documents and contact details.  Please click here to request an Archie user account. You should check out the file from within RevMan. Click here for our Quickstart guide to checking RevMan files in and out of Archie and Top tips for authors using Archie and RevMan 5.

How do I formulate a systematic search strategy?

Read this page about the process of designing, running and documenting your systematic search.

Cochrane Handbook and other Collaboration-wide resources

Please refer to the Cochrane Handbook which is the official document that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews. Cochrane protocols and reviews should also follow the style described in the Cochrane Style Guide. Use protocols and reviews published in The Cochrane Library as examples. If you do not have access to The Cochrane Library please contact the Managing Editor (cochranework[at]

Work Group-specific resources

It is important to break down your review project into manageable tasks and to assign people and deadlines to both.
    - Review Planning Checklist
    - Review task scheduling tool (Gantt chart)

Defining the outcomes can be a tricky business in OSH reviews.
    - Using sickness absence as an outcome measure

Where do I find out about training workshops and other sources of support?

Please register for the appropriate Cochrane training workshops as soon as possible to help you develop your protocol and review.  Once you have an Archie account you can access the online learning resources.

When does my protocol need to be finished?

We will agree a deadline with you for submission of your draft protocol, usually within six months of the title being registered.  It is important that you keep in touch with us about the progress you are making on your protocol. If we do not receive your protocol within 24 months of title registration we will de-register the title in line with Cochrane policy.