Reviews needed

The group has developed a list of priority reviews from our longer vacant titles list. We consider titles from the vacant titles list and titles suggested by authors, when Editors consider that a review is of a sufficiently high priority.

We carried out a formal priority setting exercise in 2019-20.

What is the process if I want to write a Cochrane review on a neuromuscular topic?

If you would like to author a review:

  1. Check that you are eligible to author a review, according to the conflicts of interest policy.
  2. Look at our priority titles and list of reviews needed (we may consider other titles).
  3. Check the Cochrane Library to see whether the proposal duplicates existing work.
  4. Contact the Managing Editor of Cochrane Neuromuscular by email, to confirm that the title fits within the scope of the Group, that it is not currently being undertaken by anyone else, and that it would currently be considered a priority for registration.
  5. If the proposal appears to meet these requirements, we will ask you to complete the review proposal form with your idea for a review and send it to along with a short CV from the lead or senior author.

After you submit the review proposal form, the Co-ordinating Editor will decide whether to reject the proposal, request revisions, or circulate it to the Editorial board. We allow a week for Editorial Board comments, which are then collated and forwarded to the Co-ordinating Editor. You may be asked to revise the form in response to Editorial board comments before a final decision is made. 

We have the following requirements:

  • Each review will have at least two authors from at least two institutions.
  • If members of the review team have been involved in studies which may be eligible for the review, other authors with no such involvement will be required to assess these studies.
  • We consider it an advantage for authors to be multidisciplinary: we encourage the inclusion of paramedical staff, nurses and patient representatives. 
  • The review team as a whole and individual authors meet the requirements of the Cochrane conflicts of interest policy, which includes requirements that:
  • a review author cannot be an employee of an organisation with a potential financial interest in the findings of the review
  • the lead author must have no commercial conflicts of interest in the intervention or in competing interventions
  • a majority of review authors must be without commercial conflicts of interest
  • The team is able to meet the Cochrane general expectations of review teams detailed here.

Criteria we consider when assessing the priority of new titles:

  • Does the review address a condition that is a major burden of disease or common problem?
  • Does the review address an important, current question for patients, clinicians, health care policy makers or funders (may relate to potential benefit or potential harm)
  • Does the review address a question of importance for health care systems in terms of costs or savings, e.g. new, high-cost interventions, or interventions with potential for disinvestment?
  • Will a review guide future research?
  • Has the review been commissioned by a guideline group or funder?
  • Has the topic been identified following any formal (or semi-formal) patient consultation process?
  • Is the review question particularly important to low or middle income countries?
  • Are potentially eligible studies available*?

*Most Cochrane Neuromuscular Reviews specify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs as eligible study designs. The Editors take the availability of such studies into account when assessing titles for registration. In the absence of RCTs, they will consider whether trials are in progress or, if RCTs are unlikely (e.g. unethical or not feasible), whether a review of best available evidence (to include NRS) may be appropriate.

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine

Owing to the quality of evidence generally available and the capacity of the review group, Cochrane Neuromuscular has suspended registration of new titles in acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, and interventions not supported by a clear scientific rationale. Exceptionally, we may consider registration of such a review if an intervention is in use or carries important potential for harm, and review teams can identify potentially valid evidence, e.g. trials performed in accordance with CONSORT extended (for TCM), STRICTA (for acupuncture). 

Prioritisation of updates

We no longer routinely update reviews at regular intervals but instead use this flow chart and the results of our priority setting to determine priorities for updating.