Expectations and guidance for systematic review authors

  1. Title registration
    1. The registration and approval of a title with the Campbell Collaboration (Campbell) grants the review team sole ownership of the topic of the systematic review. No other review team within Campbell will produce a competing review on that specific topic.
    2. The granting of sole ownership means that Campbell ’s Coordinating Groups (CGs) can deregister a title if the review team fails to make consistent progress on the systematic review or fails to meet the milestones set out in Section 2 below. In such a case the CG may allow another review team to engage in a review of that topic.
  2. Expected timeline and milestones for producing a systematic review
    1. Systematic review authors are expected to submit a draft protocol to the CG Editor and Managing Editor within three months of the approval of the title.
    2. Review authors are expected to submit a draft final review to the CG Editor and Managing Editor/Coordinator within one year of the approval of the protocol.
    3. Review authors are expected to update the CG Editor and Managing Editor/Coordinator on their progress at least every six months following the approval of the protocol, and report on any problems that may impede timely delivery of a draft review.
  3. Campbell editorial process
    1. Upon submission of a draft protocol or final review, the Editor may require revisions before the manuscripts are sent for peer review. More than one round of revisions may be required at this stage.
    2. The peer review process for both protocols and final reviews consists of one methodological and two substantive reviews. Protocols are also reviewed by an information search specialist.
    3. Revisions to draft manuscripts are typically required by the Editor upon receipt of the peer reviews. More than one round of revisions may be required.
  4. Publication of registered reviews
    1. Approved title registration forms, approved protocols, and approved reviews will be published in the online monograph series Campbell Systematic Reviews, available through the Campbell library: http://www.campbellcollaboration.org/library
    2. Review authors retain the right of their work, and hence the right to publish the review findings elsewhere. For Campbell, in accordance with the Creative Commons Open Access licence agreement, there is one essential condition of co-publication: Campbell reviews must remain free for dissemination in any and all media, without restriction from any of them. To ensure this, Campbell authors sign an open access license agreement, and may not sign over exclusive copyright to any journal or other publisher. A journal is free to request a nonexclusive copyright that permits it to publish and re-publish a review, but this cannot restrict the publication of the review by Campbell.
    3. A Campbell systematic review should be published either before, or at the same time as, its publication in other journals. Authors should not publish Campbell reviews in journals before they are ready for publication in the Campbell library. However, journals will sometimes insist that the publication of the review in the Campbell library should not precede publication in print. When this is the case, authors should submit a review for publication in the journal after agreement from their CG Editor and before publication in the Campbell library. Authors should remember to include the statement: ”This is a version of a Campbell review, which is available in the Campbell library”. Publication in print should not be subject to lengthy production times, and should not delay publication of a Campbell review in the Campbell library (either because of delays from a journal or in order to resubmit their review to another journal). Journals can also request revision of a review for editorial or content reasons. External peer review provided by journals may enhance the value of the review and should be welcomed. Reviews may be adapted or shortened according to journal requirements, as long as the original author and the Campbell Collaboration is given credit.
    4. A review may only be identified as a Campbell review in external publications if the final review has been approved by the CG. Authors may publish elsewhere before CG approval, but in that case may not affiliate the review with Campbell. If the review has an approved Campbell protocol but the final review has not yet been approved, authors may state in external publications that the work is based on an approved Campbell protocol.

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