So you want to write a Campbell systematic review?

We welcome proposals for new reviews to be registered with the Campbell Collaboration and, subsequently, published in the Campbell Library.
There are three stages in the production of a Campbell review: (1) title registration, (2) protocol, and (3) review. You will find a Word template for each of these three stages, with a 'Campbell template instructions' document in our online library.
The editorial process for your review will be managed by one Campbell’s Coordinating Groups.
General guidance can be found in Campbell’s Policies and Guidelines and Expectations and guidance for systematic review authors. See the bottom of this page for a list of links to the resources needed.

1. Title registration

The first step is to complete the title registration form (TRF). Please read the document 'Campbell template instructions' before filling in the form.
The proposed title for your systematic review should clearly state the scope of the review. This scope should be determined in consultation with key stakeholders including intended end users. Guidance on formulating the review title may be found in the Cochrane Handbook, which is the basis for the suggested title format you will find in the TRF template.
An additional resource to assist at the title stage is The Equity Checklist.
The completed TRF should be sent directly to the Managing Editor of the Coordinating Group with which the review will be registered. You can expect a response regarding your proposed title within 10 working days.
The approved TRF is published in the Campbell Library.

2. Protocol

The next stage is to develop the review protocol. In addition to following the template, authors may consult the Protocol guidelines document.
Campbell has adopted the Methodological Expectations of Campbell Collaboration Intervention Reviews (MECCIR) to guide the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews. It is important that these guidelines are adhered to ensure that your review can be published in the Campbell Library. Although the list of requirements may seem quite long, they are the building blocks of a high quality systematic review, and most of the items are very straightforward to implement. For developing the protocol you should consult the MECCIR conduct standards. The standards indicate which items are relevant at the protocol stage. You may also find it useful to consult those the Methods Policy Briefs which are relevant to your review.
The protocol you submit will be reviewed though a process managed by one Coordinating Group’s Editors. It will be sent for external refereeing by both a content expert and a methods specialist. The Editor will provide you with a consolidated set of comments with guidance on required revisions. These comments are often more detailed than those you may be used to from the usual journal refereeing process. There may be more than one round of refereeing.
The approved protocol is published in the Campbell Library.
Once the protocol is approved, the review team is required to sign an agreement with the Coordinating Group which lays out the roles and responsibilities of each.

3. Review

After the protocol is accepted, the work of producing the review itself begins. The review should be prepared using the review template, available from our online library, along with template instructions. The MECCIR reporting standards give more details on how specifics parts of the review should be presented.
Remember to consult the MECCIR conduct standards also, and to check if any Methods Policy Briefs are applicable to your review.
The review will be sent for external refereeing, usually by the same referees as commented on the protocol. The Editor will provide you with a consolidated set of comments with guidance on required revisions. More than one round of refereeing may be necessary.
The completed review should be submitted with an Agreement that you will comply with the requirement to update the review after three years.

Publishing the review

After the review is accepted, we will make sure that the review is presented in the Campbell design and that it includes all the information necessary for our online library. The final proofs will be sent to the corresponding author for approval. Once this is done, it will be published officially in the online Campbell Library and can be freely distributed as per our open access policy.
The promotion of the review is a responsibility shared between the authors, the supporting institutions, the Coordinating Group and the Campbell Secretariat. Typically, we will write about the completed review on our website in our newsletters and on social media. We will produce a plain language summary (PLS) and promote it to policy makers, practitioners and intermediary organisations who reach these groups.

Fast track

Funded reviews may require faster review turnaround times. A fast track agreement commits both the Coordinating Group and the authors to an agreed timetable with faster than usual turnaround times. A fast track agreement usually requires the review team to make a payment to cover additional time available from Campbell officers who participate in the refereeing process. The payment will be managed by the Campbell Secretariat. Read more here.
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