Registering Titles and Developing Protocols


Please contact the convenor on call if you would like to register a title that involves a qualitative evidence synthesis. 

The proposed qualitative evidence synthesis must be linked to a Cochrane effectiveness review, which may be conducted alongside the qualitative evidence synthesis, or already published in the Cochrane Library.

A template for protocols and reviews for future review authors of qualitative evidence syntheses, produced by Cochrane EPOC, is publicly available: 

You can also see a presentation of the template here:

QIMG convenors will be able to signpost examples of published protocols describing the methods and processes for undertaking a qualitative evidence synthesis.

Before contacting the QIMG convenor on call - make sure you have undertaken an initial search to identify the type and availability of potentially relevant qualitative research to address your review question(s). 

Your proposed team will  include members with expertise and experience in undertaking and publishing  qualitative evidence syntheses and primary qualitative research.  

See also our supplemental guidance on developing a protocol.

If considered appropriate, the QIMG will support the selected CRG in undertaking peer review of your protocol and supporting development of the qualitative evidence synthesis through to publication.

The Title Registration and Protocol Checklist

When reviewing the title registration and protocol, we will cross check the following elements:

1. Has the on-call QIMG convenor been notified of the intention to register a review and has a QIMG convenor been involved in supporting the title registration and protocol development? 

2. Is this a priority review to conduct an exemplar qualitative evidence synthesis?

3a. Is it an integrated quan/qual protocol with a joint team and if so is it clear how the reviewers will work together to undertake and integrate the two reviews?   OR

3b. Is the intention that an additional qualitative evidence synthesis will be undertaken and then integrated with an existing Cochrane effectiveness review(s) published in the library.  If so, what links exist or have been made between the qual and quant review teams and is there agreement in place that a qualitative evidence synthesis is warranted/desirable at the present time?  

4. Are the review questions appropriate for a qualitative evidence synthesis?

5. Has a scoping search been undertaken to establish the nature and type of available qualitative evidence to inform decision-making about the choice of sampling and synthesis method? 

6. Are the proposed methods and processes consistent with QIMG guidance?

7. Will the search for qualitative evidence be limited to studies related to included trials or will a wider search be performed for additional qualitative evidence that is unrelated to included trials? 

8. Does the review team have the requisite skills to conduct a qualitative evidence synthesis and then integrate the qualitative/quantitative findings? 

9. Are the resources and timeframes appropriate? 

10. Is the CRG supportive of registration?

11. Is the title registration/protocol complete, coherent and transparent? 

An Elaboration and Explanation document is available with more details substantiating the above checklist