The Risk of Bias 2 (RoB 2) tool is an update to the original risk of bias tool that launched in 2008. The relevant chapter in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Chapter 8, titled ‘Assessing risk of bias in a randomized trial’. The Methodological Expectations for Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) Manual includes standards for assessing risk of bias in included studies; C52-60. Up-to-date information from the developers on RoB 2 is available via the Risk of Bias tools website: https://www.riskofbias.info/
Cochrane Scientific Committee recommendation (Full statement, July 2017):
When officially released the RoB 2 tool will become mandatory for new reviews. It will not need to be applied retrospectively in updated reviews. As of July 2017, the tool is undergoing some final refinement and implementation within Cochrane is underway. Please await further announcements for the official roll-out. This recommendation has Editor-in-Chief approval.
November 2019 update: Cochrane Reviews teams can use RoB 2 but there is no mandate to yet. Built-in RoB 2 functionality is only available in RevMan Web (not RevMan 5). Development of guidance, training, tools and support is ongoing. A pilot of RoB 2 is underway with Cochrane Review teams with the official roll-out dependent on the first review publishing. If review teams are interested in using RoB 2 they should contact their Managing Editor, Network Associate Editor and the Cochrane Methods Team.
If you have any questions, contact the Cochrane Methods Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).