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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    • How to cite Stata or R

      It would be very helpful if examples of how to cite both statistical software programs "Stata" and "R" could be included in the style manual. They are occasionally cited in reviews and are frequently difficult for authors to cite correctly.

      1 vote
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        0 comments  ·  References  ·  Admin →
      • Add information on gene and protein nomenclature

        It doesn't come up often in Cochrane Reviews, but we need to provide guidance on which source of information to consult for gene and protein names. Suggestions welcome.

        1 vote
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        • Guidance on Reference ID or study ID for all reference types

          From discussion with Clare Dooley: "Some reference types give examples of the Reference ID or Study ID that should be used (e.g. personal communication, study listed in a trial register) – could these examples be extended to ALL reference types? For instance, it would be really helpful for publications on the internet where there is often confusion between the date accessed and the date a report was published (i.e. which year is entered as the ref ID?) Or there’s confusion when entering the Ref ID for GRADEpro GDT – is it the date of publication (GRADEpro GDT 2014) or the…

          2 votes
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            0 comments  ·  References  ·  Admin →
          • 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
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              0 comments  ·  References  ·  Admin →
            • References with groups or organisations as authors

              What is guidance for when a reference is authored or co-authored by a group or organisation, or 'on behalf of' a group or organisation?

              Specific example noted by Tracey Remmington
              In https://community.cochrane.org/style-manual/references/reference-types/cochrane-publications
              Chapter 6 is listed as an example (Chapter of a Cochrane Handbook - Chapter of the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions with authors: online version):  it simply says for authors: “Lefebvre C, Manheimer E, Glanville J”
               
              Whereas in the Handbook the authors are listed as: “ Lefebvre C, Manheimer E, Glanville J on behalf of the Cochrane Information Retrieval Methods Group”.
               
              So, for this,  and all…

              1 vote
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                1 comment  ·  References  ·  Admin →
              • 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?

                  1 vote
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                  • 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
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                    • How to cite supplementary materials

                      Recent discussion with Information Specialists indicates a need to include guidance on how to cite supplementary materials. Supplementary materials can be extra material from the article (so would have the same authors, date, and underlying source, but would be designated as supplementary material) or they can be accompanying/linked materials (so may have different authors, title, date, etc).

                      3 votes
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                        2 comments  ·  References  ·  Admin →
                      • How to cite Covidence

                        Covidence is starting to be referenced in Cochrane Reviews, and it would be helpful to include an example of how it should be cited in the Style Manual.

                        2 votes
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                          1 comment  ·  References  ·  Admin →
                        • Warning about Wiley's PDF rendering omitting special characters

                          Currently the Symbols and special characters section gives the impression that what you see is what you get. This is unfortunately misleading. For example the character ≠ will appear in the RevMan file normally just like any letter or number. However, when the protocol or review with this character in the text is published the character will not appear on the PDF at all. This is a technical problem and should be fixed as such. Before it is fixed people need to be aware of this and think of suitable workarounds.

                          Jani Ruotsalainen, ME/Cochrane Work

                          3 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
                          • Guidance on usage of 'Indigenous' and on names for specific Indigenous populations

                            It would be useful to have guidance on usage and capitalisation of the term 'Indigenous' and the use of specific terms for Indigenous peoples. For reference, two Cochrane Library editorials: http://www.cochranelibrary.com/editorial/10.1002/14651858.ED000104
                            http://www.cochranelibrary.com/editorial/10.1002/14651858.ED000103

                            2 votes
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                            • Straight quotes or smart quotes?

                              When typing into Revman, single and double quotation marks appear as 'straight quotes' but when text has been imported from Word they sometimes appear as 'smart quotes'. Please clarify whether these should be changed to straight quotes.

                              3 votes
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                              • General guidance on use of symbols and special characters

                                The Style Manual includes guidance on how to choose and enter symbols and how to format spacing around symbols, but we may need general guidance on whether or not to use symbols in general or for specific symbols and characters.

                                0 votes
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                                  Under review  ·  0 comments  ·  Formatting  ·  Admin →
                                • Authors' affiliations in non-English languages: translate or use original?

                                  Should we have guidance on whether authors' affiliations should always be written in English or whether they could be written in the original language.

                                  3 votes
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                                  • How to enter non-English references in RevMan

                                    References added to RevMan are nearly always entered in English, and it can be challenging to enter non-English references, especially for people who speak only English. It's additionally difficult for references using non-Roman alphabets. Consider providing a set of examples to expand current advice (https://community.cochrane.org/style-manual/references/reference-types/journal-articles#not-english)

                                    3 votes
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                                    • Citing conference proceedings in particular formats

                                      Consider adding specific guidance on how to cite conference posters or other particular types of conference outputs.

                                      0 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  References  ·  Admin →
                                      • 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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                                        • How to cite a registered title

                                          How should a registered title be cited in a Cochrane Review?

                                          We could use a format like this:
                                          Gendron L. Active mind body movement therapies as an adjunct to or in comparison to pulmonary rehabilitation in COPD. Cochrane registered title. www.cochrane.org/title/active-mind-body-movement-therapies-adjunct-or-comparison-pulmonary-rehabilitation-copd (accessed DATE).

                                          But that's just the contact author not full authors, and would it make more sense for the Group to be the 'author' at this stage, as they 'hold' the title until it becomes the authors' work?

                                          1 vote
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                                            0 comments  ·  References  ·  Admin →
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