Updating a review
Reviews should be ideally updated at least every two years and more frequently where new evidence is identified. Failure to update a review can result in the review being assigned to a new author team. Increasingly we are starting to focus on updates in areas of high priority. We will notify you when your review is due to be updated and our Information Specialist will discuss your search strategy with you and carry out a new search.
The process of updating a review is also an opportunity to examine the review methods and update them where necessary by completing a risk of bias assessment and a Summary of Findings table and considering the MECIR standards. The Plain Language Summary should also be reviewed alongside the PLEACS standards.
If no new trials have been identified, and no changes are desired by the editorial base or the author, then the review will be annotated to indicate that no changes are required but that searches for new trials have been undertaken. If substantial changes are required the review update will be sent to peer referee. If authors fail to update reviews within 12 months of being advised that this is necessary, the review may be withdrawn from publication or assigned to a new author team.
In addition reviews need to be updated in the light of comments received through the 'Feedback' facility on the Cochrane Library. Review authors will work with the Feedback editor to provide a response to feedback, and, if significant changes are made to the review as a result, the revised review would be subjected to the same editorial process as an updated review.