essential resources

This page contains links to essential software and guidance for completing your protocol, review and update. 

Starting your protocol

Cochrane Account

Your Cochrane Account is the only login you need to access all Cochrane resources and services.  Please see here for details on how to update your details and information on frequently asked questions. 


Review Manager (RevMan) is the tool used to analyse the data and write the review article. RevMan Web is an online version recommended for new Cochrane Reviews of interventions and flexible reviews. It has been designed to integrate with other systematic review software and new features and updates are added regularly. RevMan 5 is the desktop version of the software which is used for other review formats, and for offline working. It is no longer being developed or updated.

Top tips for using RevMan is a good starting point for all RevMan users.

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

The Cochrane Handbook is the official document that describes the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane Reviews, and you should refer to it at all stages of the review process. The Cochrane Handbook is available online and via the help menu of Review Manager.

Cochrane standards (MECIR)

Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) are a set of standards for the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Intervention Reviews. Authors are expected to comply with these standards. The conduct standards may be most useful while planning your protocol, and the reporting standards while writing your completed Review.  The complete conduct and reporting standards can be found here.

Guidance and reports from Cochrane Editorial & Methods Department's quality assurance programme provide additional advice on how to improve the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Reviews.

Cochrane Style Basics and the Cochrane Style Manual

The Cochrane Style Manual is designed to help review authors, editors, and copy editors apply a consistent style when writing and editing Cochrane Reviews. This document can also be found on the Help menu in RevMan software. Cochrane Style Basics is a shorter summary of essential items, aimed at authors. All Cochrane Reviews and protocols must adhere to the guidance contained in the Cochrane Style Manual.

Cochrane Training

Cochrane provides extensive online learning material. We recommend that you take the Cochrane Interactive Learning online course (self-directed learning resource on conducting systematic reviews of interventions, available in English and Spanish). 

A very helpful webinar to help avoid common errors at protocol stage is available here.

Involving people

Involving People is a resource for systematic review editors and authors to support you in getting people involved in the production of your reviews (including Cochrane Consumers: patients, their families and carers, as well as other members of the public; and health care teams).  This online resource has been condensed into a document which suggests four specific ways an author team might involve consumers.  It is available here.

Cochrane help and support centre

Please visit the Cochrane help and support centre for all queries ranging from Cochrane membership to policy.  

Starting your review or review update

In addition to the resources above, you will need: 


Covidence is an online systematic review production platform which is recommended by Cochrane. The tool includes title/abstract screening, full-text review, risk of bias assessment, and data extraction. Registered Cochrane Reviews are free of charge in Covidence. Author support for the tool is provided via the Covidence team. All queries and issues with Covidence should be directed to Covidence Support (

Top tips for Covidence - handy guide to help you get started with Covidence


GRADEpro GDT is used to create a Summary of findings table in Cochrane Reviews. You can import data from RevMan, perform calculations to present the key findings of your review, and conduct a GRADE assessment of the quality of the evidence. Online learning resources on the GRADE approach are available here.  An introductory webinar on how to use GRADEpro GDT is available here. GRADEpro GDT is free for all users.

The Central Editorial Unit has created a table of common errors and good practice for intervention reviews which is available here.

Cochrane Vascular has created a brief document to help you describe your results and this is available here.   

Cochrane help and support centre

Please visit the Cochrane help and support centre for all queries ranging from Cochrane membership to policy.