Our prioritisation process aims to support the production of high-quality, clinically relevant reviews, with meaningful impact and utility for clinicians, consumers, policy makers and guideline developers by identifying priority topics for new reviews and updates.

Through our prioritisation process we aim to: Define topic areas of importance for clinicians, consumers, stakeholders and funders and use this to guide CSzG in determining which review titles are important to publish or update.

Evolve strategies by which all interests can be taken into account in a way that is open and transparent.


Choosing to invest time and effort in one review over another is a complex issue. There are many competing – and sometimes conflicting - interests – those of clinicians, consumers of care, funders and policymakers.

Furthermore, priorities change across time and often swiftly. The enthusiasm of a new author group could generate energy into a very specialist topic and a high-grade review be produced swiftly and efficiently. The anticipated impact of review could encourage investment into a review that is likely to have little clinical importance. A call for funding could generate enthusiasm more linked with acquisition of support rather than the needs of consumers.

Cochrane Schizophrenia have used and continue to use several strategies when considering the priority of topics or review titles (see Figure below). Our leading role in the wide consultation process of the  James Lind Alliance  helped generate the first Cochrane Schizophrenia  topic list . Many of these topics have now been addressed – and, in reality, this process should be repeated. However, we have no specific funding and this is unlikely to occur.

We have also consulted and worked with consumers  Janey  and Ben through links with RETHINK.

Each year the full Editorial Board of  Cochrane Schizophrenia  is consulted for ideas and thoughts on current topics to consider for priority.

Prioritisation of Systematic Reviews

Proposed Prioritisation for 2020-2021:

Piloting the Triple P experiment (Parallel Processes of Prioritisation)

By undertaking this process, we hope to be transparent, create a system that is not burdensome yet leaving the door open for suggestions from both internal Cochrane sources and external ‘idiosyncratic’ sources. 


Across this year we will pilot the process and report findings thereafter.


For each topic or review which has undergone this process the Cochrane Schizophrenia will publish a simple file including timeline documenting the process.