Cochrane Style Manual

The Cochrane Style Manual helps authors and editors apply a consistent style across Cochrane Reviews and related Cochrane content. Please use this forum to suggest additions, clarifications, or other changes.

It helps if you can explain why you would find the change useful. Start with a short label and then a fuller description.

To learn more about what happens to ideas and how the manual is revised, see Cochrane Style Manual: process for updating.

How can we improve the Cochrane Style Manual?

You've used all your votes and won't be able to post a new idea, but you can still search and comment on existing ideas.

There are two ways to get more votes:

  • When an admin closes an idea you've voted on, you'll get your votes back from that idea.
  • You can remove your votes from an open idea you support.
  • To see ideas you have already voted on, select the "My feedback" filter and select "My open ideas".
(thinking…)

Enter your idea and we'll search to see if someone has already suggested it.

If a similar idea already exists, you can support and comment on it.

If it doesn't exist, you can post your idea so others can support it.

Enter your idea and we'll search to see if someone has already suggested it.

  • Hot ideas
  • Top ideas
  • New ideas
  • My feedback
  1. Notes on changing journal names

    From Kate Cahill: The old Style Guide used to advise on name changes in journals, specifically JAMA (1960) and the BMJ (1988). The Manual retains the BMJ information, but not the JAMA one; it would be very useful to have both journals flagged up, plus any others that have been similarly affected.

    0 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    1 comment  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. Formatting

    The style manual says 'In general, the choice of formatting (i.e. bulleted or ordered lists) and numbering should be consistent within a single document.'
    Perhaps the manual could make explicit an exception for numbering lists where items are in order of importance or in sequence (and also not numbering lists where no such ordering is needed).

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Planned  ·  3 comments  ·  Formatting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. References: inclusion of 'Abstract' at end of title?

    Query from Denise Mitchell: Quite a few authors put '[Abstract]' at the end of a study title to indicate (obviously!) that it's an abstract, either from a conference or rather than full text. I can't see this in the Style Manual and I delete it but can you tell me if I'm right to do so, please?

    2 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Open for voting  ·  1 comment  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Guidance on how to cite Colloquium presentations and posters

    There are numerous ways of presenting these. Clarify best practice in the Style Manual.

    2 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Planned  ·  0 comments  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. Changing the format of ongoing studies

    I have just completed the copy-editing on a large update, with a number of ongoing trials (usually from trial registries) and trials awaiting classification. In all cases the authors had given the study ID as the surname of the PI and the year of registration. In line with the Style Manual, I reformatted the tabulated record so that the study ID became the trial registry number (e.g. NCT00123456), and the 'Authors' also became the trial registry number. That number appeared for a third time in the table in the clinicaltrials website URL (clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00123456). I am very aware, having written several…

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    1 comment  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. References: copublication advice

    "Co-publication not mentioned in Style Manual, but becoming more common:
    E.g. Welch V, Petticrew M, Petkovic J, Moher D, Waters E; PRISMA-Equity Bellagio Group. Extending the PRISMA Statement for equity-focused systematic reviews (PRISMA-E 2012): explanation and elaboration. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2016;70:68-89. Co-published in International Journal for Equity in Health 2015;14:92 and The Journal of Development Effectiveness 2016; DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2015.1113196.

    0 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Planned  ·  1 comment  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  7. References: Epub + DOI/other numbers

    Placing of Epub bracket in various situations – not all ID numbers are DOIs, and will they all get square brackets when published?: e.g. Beaton DE, Terwee CB, Singh JA, Hawker GA, Patrick DL, Burke LB, et al. A call for evidence-based decision making when selecting outcome measurement instruments for summary of findings tables in systematic reviews: results from an OMERACT Working Group. Journal of Rheumatology 2015. pii: jrheum.141446. [Epub ahead of print].

    0 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Planned  ·  1 comment  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Provide more advice on active and passive voice

    I find myself disagreeing with CE from time too time about what is active and what is passive, so I went to try and educate myself. About the first thing I cam across was this article, which had as its abstract:

    "Writing advisers have been condemning the English passive since the early 20th century. I provide an informal but
    comprehensive syntactic description of passive clauses in English, and then exhibit numerous published examples of incompetent
    criticism in which critics reveal that they cannot tell passives from actives. Some seem to confuse the grammatical concept with
    a rhetorical one involving inadequate…

    2 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Under review  ·  2 comments  ·  Grammar and writing style  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. References: provide an example of an ongoing study that is in a trials register

    Currently we only have an example of an ongoing study that is not in a trials register. It would be helpful to have both.

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    1 comment  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  10. Guidance on appropriate use of surname field

    Technical change needed. See Notes.

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Planned  ·  0 comments  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  11. Referencing preprints

    It may be useful to have guidance on citing preprints. Citing Medicine has recently been updated with guidance on this.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7264/#ch14.secCIE

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    1 comment  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  12. Splitting trials into abcd

    Note from Kate Cahill: "The review has 244 included studies, generating 278 comparisons; the excess is because quite a lot of the studies are, quite properly, split down into two or three comparisons, named e.g. Cahill 2016a, Cahill 2016b, etc. It becomes rather tiresome and time-consuming to edit the same information (sometimes minimally altered) for each comparison. I have offered them the following comment:

    "- Where the authors have split a trial into a number of different comparisons, e.g. Saluja 2002a, 2002b, 2002c, it would be more elegant and economical to refer the reader back to the first rendition of…

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Open for voting  ·  0 comments  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. Study v trial

    Consider including clarifying the meaning of trial and study in the Style Manual

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Open for voting  ·  0 comments  ·  Names and common terms  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. Superscripts

    Whether to use superscript function or select superscript 2 as a character.

    0 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Formatting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. Clarification needed on use of "mid" as a prefix

    Please add "mid" to the list of prefixes and clarify its presentation. (The example I am working with is "mid-urethral" or "midurethral") .

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Under review  ·  1 comment  ·  Grammar and writing style  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. How to write the time

    A review is talking about circadian rhythms and events taking place between midnight and six oÕclock in the morning or six oÕclock in the morning and midday, variously written as:
    12:00-06:00 a.m.
    12:00 to 06:00 h
    six a.m. and noon

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Planned  ·  0 comments  ·  Numbers, statistics, and units  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. Guidance on the use of sex vs gender

    Guidance would be appreciated on the use of the terms "sex" and "gender". The Cochrane Equity group is likely to be of help defining these terms.

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Planned  ·  1 comment  ·  Names and common terms  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  18. Capitalisation of 'Cochrane Review' - challenges in different contexts

    Should we continue to capitalise 'Review' in the phrase Cochrane Review? Broad implications for various usages and contexts.

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    0 comments  ·  Names and common terms  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  19. References: journal article published online

    e.g. Wiksten A, RŸcker G, Schwarzer G. Statistics in Medicine 2016: DOI: 10.1002/sim.6879 [Published online]

    2 votes
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Open for voting  ·  0 comments  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  20. Guidance on whether to cite 'submitted' articles

    e.g. Reeves BC, Wells GA, Waddington H. Classifying studies to evaluate the effects of health care or health system interventions based on design features: a taxonomy without labels. Submitted, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

    1 vote
    Vote
    Sign in
    (thinking…)
    Sign in with: facebook google
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Planned  ·  1 comment  ·  References  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
← Previous 1
  • Don't see your idea?

Feedback and Knowledge Base