Policy on peer refereeing

Peer review is conducted by a variety of people with the aim of incorporating their expert opinion on the clinical, methodological and consumer specific aspects of the Protocol or Review. The areas of comment may differ between the disciplines e.g. a consumer may comment on the difficulties associated with the use of medical language for a lay person whereas this may not be the focus of a clinical or methodological review.

Consumer feedback is valuable for each protocol and review and the Group aims to receive at least one consumer to comment on each new submission prior to publication. Consumer referees offer an alernative perspective that encompasses knowledge from various but objective viewpoints and which enhances the quality of Cochrane protocols and reviews. The Cochrane Consumer Network has developed specific resources for consumers wishing to participate as peer referees. A full description of the role and steps involved in the process can be found at http://consumers.cochrane.org/resources#train

The Group has developed checklists as a guide for referees conducting peer review of protocols and reviews. If you would like to contribute as a peer referee, please contact cochrane@ctc.usyd.edu.au