Comments on Cochrane Reviews: who is commenting and what are they saying?

Hilton J1, Aburrow T2, Wheat S2
1Cochrane, 2Wiley

Background:

Cochrane welcomes comments on published Cochrane Reviews and protocols via the Cochrane Library. Seeking and responding to comments, and the transparency of that process, are important parts of the scientific process and publication ethics. Alongside this, Cochrane Reviews or protocols can be amended or updated, if warranted, in response to comments, with the ultimate aim of improving the quality and usefulness of the published review or protocol.

Objectives:

To understand more about who is submitting comments, what aspects those people are commenting on, and the impact of those comments on the published work.

Methods:

We will analyze comments received during 2017, and we will categorize comments according to the stated role of the comment contributor, the aspects addressed by the comment (study inclusion, methodology, conclusions, outcomes, relevance, other aspects). We will also determine whether and how the review or protocol was changed in response to the comment.

Results:

This is ongoing work. Results will be presented at the Colloquium.

Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:

Part of this work will determine the degree to which patients or healthcare consumers use the comments system, and to what extent comments in general relate to issues of importance to patients or consumers.