Brief economic commentaries (BECs)

BECs offer a 'lighter touch' approach and are designed to allow economic evidence to be considered in the main review of intervention effectiveness without placing a major additional workload burden on review author teams or editorial base staff.

Methods guidance on 'How to evelop Brief Economic Commentaries (BECs) for Cochrane Intervention Reviews' is published (In Press) in 'Chapter 20: Incorporating economic evidence' of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Second Edition, Version 6.0). This chapter also includes guidance on when (and when not) to prioritise the inlusion of economic evidence in Cochrane intervention reviews.

Recommended production models for BECs will continue to evolve as our experience of applying the methods in Cochrane intervention reviews continues to accumulate.  For example, several BECs published to date in the Cochrane Library were developed by a designated health economist working in collaboration with the relevant Cochrane Information Specialist and added into the main review of intervention effectiveness (by agreement with the review authors) after search strategies for the main review had ben finalised.

Additionally, the editorial process for assuring high-quality BECs requires specialist editorial input and peer review for both protocols and full reviews. Specialist editorial input for BECs is sometimes provided by health economist editors or advisors embedded in Cochrane editorial bases (ofetn traned and mentored by the C-CEMG), or else by health economist convenors or members of the C-CEMG with relevant methods training. Specialist peer review is generally rovided by health economist convenors or members of the C-CEMG with relevant methods training.

All requests for specialist advice, editorial input and/or peer review for BECS should be submitted by the Cochrane Review Group concerned, on behalf of review author teams, when applicable, via email to:

To view a list of exemplar BECs in published Cochrane intervention reviews, click here.