Cochrane Reviews are seen as exemplifying best practice in the quality of both their conduct and reporting. To maintain this position we need to improve and maintain the quality of our output as standards and expectations for systematic reviews increase generally; we also need to ensure consistency across all Cochrane Review Groups and all reviews. To this end we have undertaken within The Cochrane Collaboration to define Methodological Expectations for Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR).
The documents associated with the MECIR project form a major step forward aimed at ensuring that both researchers and editorial teams have a shared understanding of the expectations of conduct and reporting for reviews in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
The standards summarize attributes of the conduct of reviews of interventions described in the Cochrane Handbook that we have established should be either mandatory or highly desirable for new Cochrane Reviews. The judgments are accompanied by a rationale and reference to the appropriate section of the Cochrane Handbook.
Further details of the MECIR project can be found at www.editorial-unit.cochrane.org/mecir