The Cochrane Collaboration is an international organisation whose primary aim is to help people make well-informed decisions about healthcare and health policy by preparing and maintaining high quality systematic reviews. It is a “not-for-profit organisation and draws significantly on volunteer effort. To find out more about the organisation visit The Cochrane Collaboration homepage. The Cochrane Library is published on behalf of The Cochrane Collaboration.
There are many ways in which you can contribute to the work of The Cochrane Collaboration. These include:
• Conducting a systematic review as part of a research team
• Providing peer review as a content expert, consumer or someone with specific skills e.g information retrieval or statistics
• Providing editorial support to a Cochrane Review Group
• Acting as an advocate for evidence based health care and the work of The Cochrane Collaboration
• Providing training for review authors or editors, or users of The Cochrane Library
• Participating in the development of Cochrane methods
• Contributing the work of Cochrane Centres and Branches, Fields and Networks.
The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of interventions describes the role of Cochrane “entities” as follows:
There are 53 Cochrane Review Groups in The Cochrane Collaboration based all over the world, each covering a specialist area within healthcare or health policy. Members of the CRGs include researchers, healthcare professionals and consumers of healthcare services. They are supported in review preparation by Methods Groups, Centres and Fields.
Cochrane Methods Groups play a number of different roles: providing methodological support to CRGs, contributing to methodological development, and playing a major role in the development of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.1
Cochrane Centres are located in different countries, and are principally engaged in providing training for review authors and CRGs within their regions, in addition to advocacy for evidence based healthcare and health policy, and promotion of access to Cochrane Reviews.
Cochrane Fields focus on broad dimensions of health care such as child health, complementary medicine, vaccines or primary care. People associated with Fields help to ensure that priorities and perspectives in their sphere of interest are reflected in the work of CRGs. You can find out more about each entity within The Cochrane Collaboration and contact them by looking at the ‘About The Cochrane Collaboration’ database.
1 Higgins JPT, Green S (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.0.2 [updated September 2009]. The Cochrane Collaboration, 2009. Available from www.cochrane-handbook.org.