IMS Bulletin #108 (10 June 2011)


For all CRGs

1. Latest Archie deployment: version 3.6
2. All about electronic Conflict of Interests (CoI) forms
3. Question of the week:
Is an author who is the Contact Person for only one Cochrane review with the status Stable eligible to receive a complimentary subscription to The Cochrane Library?

For CRGs using workflows

4. Reminder: MEs are responsible for setting workflow permissions for other users in their Group

For all CRGs

1. Latest Archie deployment: version 3.6

The latest Archie deployment took place on 1 June 2011. For full details of the new features and bugs fixed, please see What’s New page in the Archie section. The Archie Help file has also been updated to reflect the new Archie features, which include the following:

  • Conflicts of Interests (CoI) forms – please see item 2 below.
  • Easy User creation from the Licence for Publication (LfP) forms report: When the LfP Forms report lists authors who are not users, a link can take you straight to User creation.
  • Clearer instructions on Request User Account: The Request User Account page now explains that only Cochrane contributors can get an account, and what to do if the email of the person requesting the account cannot be found.
  • 'Checked in by' information is now shown as a table column in a Review’s History.
  • Message on check-in if RevMan is outdated.
  • The ‘Inform’ wording has replaced ‘Remind’ in the LfP report.

2. All about electronic Conflicts of Interests (CoI) forms

As mentioned in item 1, a new electronic Conflicts of Interests (CoI) form for authors, based on the form used by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), is now available in Archie. This new form is being introduced gradually, which means that, if you wish, you can continue to use the form generated in RevMan, known as the Declarations of Interest form. We would, however, encourage you to use the new form so that you can provide us with feedback to inform the decision that may be made in the future that all authors are required to declare their interests by completing a CoI form electronically.

Authors access their own personal form in the same way they are asked to access the LfP form, i.e., through their Archie username and password in response to an email from Archie initiated by the CRG Super User. This email comes from the ME and provides the link to the form along with a link to more detailed instructions.

CRG Super Users access the forms by right-clicking the review title in Archie and choosing Reports > Conflicts of Interest Forms, which will open the Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest screen where you click on the Inform button if you want the email to be sent to an individual author (or Inform All for all authors) to ask them to complete their form electronically. Note that authors are not automatically informed that they need to complete the CoI forms when the Publication Wizard is run in Archie (as is the case with Licence for Publication (LfP) forms). This is because the forms need to be completed at an earlier stage in the editorial process (see Question b, below).

For detailed information on how to use the CoI forms, please see Help > Archie Help and Search for ‘Conflicts of Interest’. In the meantime, here are answers from the Cochrane Editorial Unit (CEU) in response to questions we raised with them. If you have other questions, please contact your IMS Support person and we will add them, along with answers, to a future issue of the Bulletin.

  1. Question: For which published versions are CoI forms required?
    Answer: In connection with the introduction of the new electronic forms, the CEU has clarified Collaboration policy about which published versions of Protocols and Full Reviews require CoI forms (see email from David Tovey, dated 9 June 2011, to MEs). According to the new policy, CoI forms must be completed (or revised) by all authors for all new citation versions of Protocols and Full Reviews, and for all updates of Full Reviews (whether or not the latter are new citation versions).  If forms have not been completed by all authors for these versions, this will appear as a Warning when the Publication Wizard is run. CoI forms do not need to be revised for published versions that are not new citation versions. The relevant section of the Policy Manual (section will be updated soon to reflect the new policy.
  2. Question: When should we arrange for the CoI to be sent to authors?
    Answer: There is no Collaboration-wide policy on precisely when during the editorial process authors should be asked to complete or revise their CoI forms. Some CRGs ask authors to complete CoI forms when they register titles and then ask them to revise the forms if necessary when they submit their draft protocol, draft review and draft update for editorial approval; other CRGs follow different procedures. CRGs can agree their own policy about when to ask their review teams to submit their CoIs. However, as indicated above, the CRG must have a completed CoI form from each author before they mark a new citation version or review update for publication.
  3. Question: Who is responsible for ensuring that authors’ declared interests are documented in the Declarations of interest section in RevMan?
    Answer: As part of the editorial processing of a review, the CRG’s ME and/or Sign-off Editor should check to ensure that authors have documented the interests declared in their CoI within their review in RevMan, if they are appropriate for the review. This is why we would advise that you ask authors to complete their CoI earlier in the process rather than near the end of the editorial process in case you identify information that should be included in the review but has been overlooked by an author.
    However, it is the authors’ responsibility to prepare their own statement for inclusion in the RevMan file and, to reinforce this, the CoI form asks the individual authors to include within the form the statement they intend to publish in their review about their potential conflicts.
  4. Question: Can we complete CoI forms on behalf of our authors?
    Answer: You can, but we would advise you only to do this in very exceptional circumstances and if you have the answers from the individual authors in writing because there is not a special field in the form (as there is in the LfP form) to verify that you are completing the form on behalf of the Author. However, Archie does record which user submits the form, and shows this in the CoI report.
    Please remember that if an author experiences difficulties in completing their CoI form, they should contact their ME, and if the ME cannot resolve the problem, the ME should contact their IMS Support person.
  5. Question: Is there a possibility that authors will be timed out when editing a form?
    Answer: No, while authors are editing a form, the session should never be timed out.
  6. Question: Should I correct typing mistakes made by authors on the CoI form when reviewing their completed form?
    Answer: No, we suggest that you leave the form as the author has completed it. However, if you think it is important for the typing error to be corrected, you should bring it to the author’s attention and ask them to correct it – either send them another Inform message from within the Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest screen or ask them to right-click the review title in Archie and choose Reports > Conflicts of Interest Forms and click Open to edit their form.
    However, because the text of RevMan files should be copy edited, it is appropriate for you to correct the typing error in RevMan.

3. Question of the week

Question:Is an author who is the Contact Person for only one Cochrane review, which has the Status ‘Stable’, eligible to receive a complimentary subscription to The Cochrane Library?

 Answer: Yes, but only if the review’s date last assessed as up to date has not expired, i.e., the date last assessed as up to date must be within the last two and a half years. 

For CRGs using workflows

4. Reminder: MEs are responsible for setting workflow permissions for other users in their Group

Currently the default workflow permissions in Archie are set to ‘Minimum’ for all Entity Roles. IMS Support set up the workflow permissions for Managing Editors. However, it is the ME’s responsibility to decide on and set workflow permissions for other users in their Group. Please contact your IMS Support person if you need advice or help with this.