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.

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  1. 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
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    • 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") .

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      • Clarification needed re the use of a lower-case letter after a colon

        The CSM recommends using a lower-case letter after a colon unless the following word is a proper noun, but in the CSM Basics we can see many colons followed by upper-case letters. Is that an inconsistency or a further explanation is missing?

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        • Expand section on use of upper-case letters

          Current guidance is limited. Consider expanding with further clarification, examples, and links to other relevant sections. Please use comments here to add particular suggestions for this.

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          • Clauses introduced by 'that' and 'which'

            Clauses that could start with 'which' or 'that' must use 'which' if they are nonrestrictive clauses (i.e. separated by commas) (e.g. "the studies, which took place in France, were crossover trials"). Restrictive clauses can be introduced by that or which: "the studies that took place in France were crossover trials", "the studies which took place in France were crossover trials". Some commentators advocate only using 'that' for restrictive clauses, to avoid confusion. Others note that the usage of which is too common to justify always changing, and that the appropriate use of commas is the key to clarity. Should the…

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