Translating critical appraisal of a systematic review to meaningful peer review

Lindsley K1, Wormald R2, Jørgensen KJ3, Dickersin K4, Li T4, Shah A5
1Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group and US Cochrane Center, 2Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group, 3The Nordic Cochrane Centre, 4US Cochrane Center and Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group, USA, 5Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group, ICEH, UK


To describe the steps and expectations for peer review of a systematic review manuscript, and to provide useful resources. To help participants translate critical appraisal into meaningful feedback that can be used by authors and editors to improve manuscript quality.


During the workshop we will present an overview of the peer review process and what is expected of peer reviewers. We will introduce and provide participants with useful tools for peer review, such as the Collaboration’s Good Practice Documents, reporting standard checklists, and links to web-based training. As a practice exercise, participants will work in small groups to critically appraise excerpts from manuscripts of systematic reviews. Specific focus will be on addressing MECIR (Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews) standards for reporting systematic reviews. Together, we will work to translate each group’s feedback into meaningful peer review comments, identifying better ways to structure and phrase comments so as to be helpful to authors and editors, and discuss common issues that arise during the peer review process. Participants are asked to read and comment on the exercise manuscript prior to attending the workshop in order to facilitate discussion of issues.