Process for managing requests for support from Methods Support Unit

Cochrane authors and editors can request input from MSU by emailing the Cochrane Community Support Team at Please put 'MSU Query' in the subject line.

Editors can also use Editorial Manager to request MSU peer review or invite MSU to take part in a discussion. 

Requests that could be escalated to the MSU include:

1. If the protocol/ review is a standard intervention review, then consider input from MSU if there are questions or concerns over:

  • inclusion and use of cluster, cross-over, or study designs that use a within patient design;
  • use of Risk of Bias (including Risk of Bias 2);
  • analysis of data (e.g. generic inverse variance, analysis of continuous data (SMDs or MDs));
  • issues with subgroup analyses.

2. MSU input can also be sought for all protocols and reviews that use/include (or plan to use/include):

  • network meta-analysis;
  • non randomised studies;
  • clinical study reports;
  • individual participant data;
  • living systematic reviews;
  • prognosis reviews.

3. For reviews that are high priority or controversial,  MSU will provide methods peer review.

The MSU does not currently cover diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) reviews due to the existence of the DTA editorial group. However, this does not mean that the MSU will not look at them if requested.

For searching support, please contact your group’s Information Specialist. For Information Specialists, please contact or access training/support resources via the Information Specialists Portal: