Plain language summaries

A plain language summary describes the results of research in everyday language, which is understandable to people with a non-scientific background. Plain language summaries (PLSs) are designed to be short and clear, with little or no jargon or technical words. All Cochrane reviews are required to have a PLS.

Cochrane PLSs are no more than 700 words long and use short paragraphs to present:

  • the review question;
  • a brief introduction to the topic;
  • the date that the search for the review was undertaken;
  • the most important features of the included studies;
  • the funding sources of the included studies;
  • the key results;
  • any harms that were found and how these were reported;
  • a description of the quality of the evidence.

You can find all of Cochrane Oral Health's plain language summaries on the Cochrane website.

Resources for writing plain language summaries can be found on Cochrane Norway's website.