2.3.5  Cochrane software for review authors and editorial bases of Cochrane Review Groups

To support the preparation and editorial oversight of Cochrane reviews, The Cochrane Collaboration uses the Cochrane Information Management System (IMS). The IMS consists of two main components, the review writing software, Review Manager (RevMan) and a central server for managing documents and contact details, Archie. The IMS functions as the electronic infrastructure of The Cochrane Collaboration and facilitates efficient collaboration between staff at editorial bases of CRGs and their author teams, often working in different continents.

 

RevMan is a mandatory tool for Cochrane authors to use when preparing and maintaining protocols and reviews in the format described in Section 2.2. The software is developed through a continuing process of consultation with its users and Cochrane methodologists, to support standards and guidelines for Cochrane reviews, and provides improved analytic methods, 'online' help and error checking mechanisms.

 

As well as supporting the preparation of a Cochrane Intervention review, RevMan supports the preparation of Cochrane Methodology reviews, Cochrane Diagnostic test accuracy reviews, and Overviews of reviews (see Chapter 22).

 

RevMan is free to use for authors preparing a Cochrane review and by academic institutions. Commercial companies may use the software if they purchase a license. Technical support is only provided to Cochrane authors who have registered their reviews with a CRG.

 

While RevMan is used for preparing and editing reviews, Archie is used for storing drafts and published versions of reviews. Storing all relevant versions of a review centrally, the system facilitates access to the latest published version of a review when it is due for an update. Through Archie, authors can also view previous versions of a review, and compare two versions of the same review to identify changes introduced from one version to the next. In addition, authors maintain their contact details and access the contact details of their co-authors and their editorial base. Cochrane review authors can get access to Archie by contacting the editorial base of their CRG.

 

The IMS is developed and maintained by the Nordic Cochrane Centre. The ongoing development of the IMS is overseen by the Cochrane Information Management System Group with guidance from the relevant advisory groups. More information about The Cochrane Collaboration’s software, such as the latest versions and planned developments, is available at the Cochrane web site: www.cc-ims.net.