Cochrane protocols on PROSPERO

Key details from new Cochrane protocols are automatically uploaded into PROSPERO. These records are clearly marked with [Cochrane protocol] at the end of the title. Affiliation to the Cochrane Library and links to the full protocol on the Cochrane Library are automatically added to the PROSPERO record.

In order to avoid adding to the workload of Cochrane reviewers and/or editors, the loading of new Cochrane protocols is automated. Most of the PROSPERO record is populated with data taken directly from the corresponding fields in the Cochrane Library record. No changes are made to the data, however the following administrative actions and defaults should be noted:

Intervention(s), exposures and Comparator(s)/control

Information about the intervention and the comparator/control is given in a single field in the Cochrane record. To accommodate the separate fields in PROSPERO, our administration staff move the details of the Comparator/control to the relevant field. Where the wording is such that they cannot be separated the information is left in the Intervention(s), exposures field and a note to ‘See above’ is entered in the Comparator(s)/control field in PROSPERO. [N.B. This is only acceptable for the automatic loading of Cochrane protocols and is not accepted in non-Cochrane submissions for registration.]

The lead authors of new Cochrane protocols added to PROSPERO are sent an email to notify them of the creation of the record on PROSPERO. They are also notified when the record is automatically updated to reflect publication of the review in the Cochrane Library. In the rare event of a major amendment to a Cochrane protocol, the PROSPERO administration team will email the lead author for the Cochrane review and ask them for the stage of the review at the time of the amendment.

Anticipated or actual start date

The date given here is the date the record was loaded into PROSPERO.

Anticipated completion date

This date is derived from the Cochrane Library record when available. In the absence of this information the date of entry into PROSPERO plus two years is entered.

Stage of review at the time of this submission

This information is not available from the Cochrane library record. We have therefore agreed to set all Cochrane protocols to the same stage of review when they are loaded. This is that Preliminary searches have been completed and piloting of the study selection process started. This default setting was agreed, given that only new Cochrane protocols are being added and in accordance with Cochrane process protocols are finalised before work progresses on the review.