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11.9.1  About plain language summaries

The plain language summary aims to summarize the review in a straightforward style that can be understood by consumers of health care. Plain language summaries are made freely available on the internet, so will often be read as stand-alone documents. Plain language summaries have two parts: a title and a body of text.


The first draft of the plain language summary should usually be written by the review authors and submitted with the review to the relevant CRG. This draft may be subject to alteration, and authors should anticipate one or more iterations. Many CRGs have plain language summary writing skills within their editorial team. Where this is not available, a central support service is available to assist CRGs in their writing and editing. This service is co-ordinated by the Cochrane Consumer Network, but review authors needing assistance with writing a plain language summary should contact their CRG.


Further information on the process of finalizing plain language summaries is available in the Cochrane Manual (available from