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We aim to produce high-quality, high impact, relevant, up-to-date systematic reviews of interventions for acute and chronic pain, headache and migraine, and palliative and supportive care, in the Cochrane Library. To ensure we meet the needs of our users, we need to respond to national, regional and global health priorities. Cochrane and our funders, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), expect us to ensure priority topics within our scope are addressed and up to date. Prioritisation is also a key objective for our Review Group Network (Musculoskeletal, Oral, Skin and Sensory Network (MOSS)) as outlined in our strategic plan.

Prioritising new review proposals

We aim to produce only high priority, high impact reviews. In order for a new title to be accepted, we expect it to be supported by a strong case for registration, for example an urgent healthcare need or priority topic identified by policy-makers or guideline developers. Please visit our review proposals page for more information about our assessment and registration process.

Prioritising updates

A Cochrane Review should be updated based on need. Aspects to consider are the currency of the question, the impact and usage of the current version, the availability of additional studies (or additional data for studies already included), and an assessment of the likely change of any newly identified studies or additional data on the current review version; in addition to methodological enhancements that may be required. We routinely assess our reviews for updating 18 months to two years after publication, unless otherwise agreed with authors and editors. 

We rely on the expertise of the authors and editors in assessing a review for updating, as well as the Cochrane Updating Classification System and the Updates Classification Flowchart.

Please visit our update development page for more information about our updating process.

Priority setting project: 2019 and beyond

We have ambitious plans for prioritisation of our portfolio of reviews from 2019, to identify our priority topics and the priority titles within those topics (either new or updated reviews). Please visit our priority setting page for more information, which will be updated throughout the year with the project outcomes. Our priority review titles will be added to the Cochrane Priority Reviews List.