Writing a systematic review following Cochrane methods


This three-day workshop (currently offered as six half-day sessions over six weeks) is designed for authors of intervention reviews who wish to follow Cochrane methods. The workshop provides authors with a comprehensive overview of the methods required to write a protocol and get started on the review.

Who should attend?

The workshop is suitable for people with little or no experience in systematic reviews who have identified a topic and are either already working on or are about to start working on a review. 

What is covered?

  • Sessions 1 & 2: different types of reviews, studies and questions; writing the protocol; defining the review question and setting the eligibility criteria; searching and selecting studies; assessing the risk of bias.
  • Sessions 3 & 4: risk of bias practical; common data types encountered in systematic reviews; how to use Cochrane’s review support and authoring tools (RevMan and Covidence); preparing for synthesis; meta-analysis; heterogeneity.
  • Sessions 5 & 6: network meta-analysis; synthesising results when meta-analysis is not possible; reporting bias; assessing the certainty of the evidence; applying GRADE.

What will I achieve?

By the end of the workshop you should:

  • be aware of how to organise and manage the review process
  • be confident of the question your review is addressing 
  • understand the scope of your review
  • have a basic understanding of search methods 
  • understand how to apply the Cochrane risk of bias tool 
  • understand the rationale and basic methods of meta-analysis
  • understand how to use RevMan for review writing and meta-analysis
  • understand how to use Covidence to manage your studies, risk of bias and data extraction
  • understand potential sources of heterogeneity 
  • understand the methods for assessing and dealing with heterogeneity 

What is the teaching style?

Workshops contain a mixture of presentations and hands-on sessions. Copies of presentations are provided.

Participants require a laptop with Review Manager Software for the practical RevMan training session.  Review Manager Software can be downloaded free at: https://tech.cochrane.org/revman/download.

Participant numbers are restricted to a maximum of 30.

How often are workshops run?

Introductory workshops are usually run around five times a year in different cities. Click here to register your interest.  

How much does it cost?

This workshop is provided free of charge to Cochrane authors thanks to the Centre's core funding from the Australian Government through the National Health and Medical Research Council.

For non-Cochrane authors the workshop cost is $550 ($330 for full-time students).

How do I register?

Click here to see the schedule and register online. Cochrane and non-Cochrane authors register using the same online system.

Note for Cochrane authors only: Cochrane authors should have identified the topic for their review and registered the title (or be in the process of registering) with a Cochrane Review Group. 

Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact the training team if you have any queries.

What have previous participants said?

"Examples in the practical sessions will be very beneficial when it comes time to write reviews." [Melbourne 2019 workshop]

“It was all very good, strong presenters who possessed a lot of knowledge.” [Sydney 2019 workshop]

"The interactive activities spread throughout the workshop really helped me apply what I was being taught." [Melbourne 2019 workshop]

“This course has taught me a great deal and I look forward to putting it into practice.” [Brisbane 2019 workshop]

“Overall I found the workshop to be very informative and recommend to anyone considering writing a review.” [Adelaide 2018 workshop]