Below are some links and files for downloading which will assist you in writing your systematic review.
Before a protocol (or review) can be developed, a review team must complete a Title Proposal form, available from the Managing Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org). Successful review teams will receive formal confirmation of their title registration, along with other resources for developing a protocol.
All versions of your protocol (and subsequently your review) are stored on the Collaboration's central server ('Archie') and can be downloaded ('checked out') into Review Manager (RevMan), the Collaboration's review writing and editing software.
The specific software developed by the Collaboration for the development of systematic reviews is Review Manager (RevMan). This can be downloaded free of charge from http://ims.cochrane.org/revman/download.
The RevMan Help menu provides access to a number of valuable resources. The RevMan Exercise is a self-training package that will lead authors through the basics of preparing a Cochrane review in RevMan. It is automatically installed with RevMan, and can be accessed from the Help menu, along with the Reviewers’ Handbook and the Style Guide. We also suggest you print the RevMan User Guide. This pdf file is downloaded into the RevMan directory on installation and is also available from http://ims.cochrane.org/revman/documentation.
In order to access the RevMan file, all co-authors should register for a user account with 'Archie'. To do this, or to log into Archie with an existing account, go to http://archie.cochrane.org/. Please note that authors without a registered title will be given access to Archie.
General Cochrane resources
Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions
All protocols should be developed using the latest version of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Review of Interventions. It is the first place to go for information and we ask that review authors read each Chapter relating to the stage in the process that they are at. The Handbook can be found at www.cochrane-handbook.org.
A Glossary is available to accompany the Handbook. The current version of the Glossary is 4.2.5 and can be found at: http://www.cochrane.org/training/cochrane-handbook#glossary.
Performing a Cochrane review requires skills that may be new to you, including the formulation of appropriate questions, literature-searching, critical appraisal, statistical analysis and interpretation and application of your findings. The Cochrane Collaboration's Online Learning Modules for Cochrane Authors is designed to accompany the Cochrane Handbook in helping you gain these skills and complete your review. It does not replace the Handbook, instead it provides a framework to progressing through the Handbook, supplementing it with examples and activities along the way.
Online learning is available to registered authors with an Archie account: http://training.cochrane.org/authors/olm.
We encourage at least one member of the review team to attend a 'Developing a protocol for a review' workshop. A list of upcoming workshops available through various Cochrane Centres can be found at: http://www.cochrane.org/tags/news-events/workshops.
Training resources by other organisations
A comprehensive guide to planning and developing systematic reviews (Review guidelines from the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination) can be used in conjunction with the Cochrane Handbook, and can be found at: www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/report4.htm.