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[Core] Mastering the art of the plain language summary

Date and Location




Sunday 22 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00
Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person

Catherine McIlwain


Catherine McIlwain
Caroline Struthers
Target audience

Target audience

This meeting is intended for consumers, authors, managing editors, professional writers and anyone interested in writing, understanding, improving, and disseminating PLSs.

Is your workshop restricted to a specific audience or open to all Colloquium participants?


Level of knowledge required

Type of workshop

Type of workshop

Abstract text


Objectives: Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the new standards, and use them to develop their skills in writing and critiquing PLSs. A selection of real reviews will be used, with permission of the authors, and participants will be guided through the process of writing a PLS using these real examples. The session will provide practical experience in producing a good-quality PLS, and on providing constructive criticism to PLSs written by others. The workshop will also involve participants in judging the entries to a PLS-writing competition, the winners of which will be announced during the Colloquium. Description: The plain language summary (PLS) is arguably the most visible and widely read part of a Cochrane review. It is intended to be easily understandable by the general public, is freely available globally, frequently translated, and reproduced in the press and in health-related websites. The PLEACS (Plain Language Expectations for Authors of Cochrane Summaries) initiative has resulted in the publication of a set of standards to help those involved in writing the PLS. It aims to ensure that review findings are consistently and clearly presented in a standard format which is helpful to those making decisions about healthcare.