2.3.3  Registering a protocol

The first step in the review process is to agree on a review topic with a Cochrane Review Group (CRG), The topics covered by each of the 53 CRGs are described in their scope, published in the CDSR. Many CRGs will have developed priorities for reviews of importance, and will require the completion of a ‘title registration form’. A title will be registered, possibly after discussion among the CRG editors, and the review authors will be invited to submit a protocol. Once a protocol has been completed it will be sent to the CRG for editors and staff at the editorial base to peer review. When they are satisfied with the protocol (this may take several iterations) they will include it in the CRG’s module for publication and dissemination in the CDSR. Editors and authors should not include a protocol in a module unless there is a firm commitment to complete the review within a reasonable time frame and to keep it up-to-date once it is completed.


It is Cochrane Collaboration policy that protocols that have not been converted into full reviews within two years should generally be withdrawn from the CDSR. If a protocol is withdrawn for any reason other than it being superseded by a review, a withdrawal notice should be published in CDSR for one issue. Thereafter, information on the withdrawal of the protocol should be noted in the CRG’s module.