Cochrane: participate, connect and learn
Posted on 12th February 2021 by Emma Carter
This page provides a brief introduction to Cochrane and highlights some of the Cochrane platforms you can participate in, connect with, and learn from. All of these resources are free to access.
What is Cochrane?
Cochrane is for anyone interested in using high-quality information to make health decisions. With members and supporters from more than 130 countries, Cochrane’s volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, students, and people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere. This global independent network gathers and summarizes the best evidence from research to help everyone make informed choices about treatment.
Cochrane has 4 main goals: to produce evidence, to make evidence accessible, to advocate for evidence, and to build an effective and sustainable organization.
The Cochrane Library currently has 8,200+ systematic reviews authored by Cochrane Review Groups, a Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Clinical Answers, plus Editorials and Special Collections. If you are new to the Library, then do have a look at the Cochrane Library Training Hub to make the most of the available resources.
There are many ways in which you can get involved in Cochrane’s work, with opportunities to participate, connect and learn. If you join Cochrane as a Supporter, you can then work towards being a Cochrane Member by gaining membership points as you contribute.
Cochrane Membership gives you:
- Recognition – Cochrane Membership is a valuable addition to your résumé or career portfolio. It demonstrates a widely-recognised commitment to evidence-based medicine
- Representation – Members form the core of the Cochrane community and help shape Cochrane’s future by getting involved in governance and strategy
- Personal development – contributing to Cochrane is an opportunity to develop new skills
One way you can gain membership points is by writing a blog for S4BE (1000 points) or reviewing a relevant resource and writing a review blog (500 points). Let Cochrane know about your blog(s) by completing the ‘Add my contribution‘ form.
Find out more and create your account on the ‘Join Cochrane’ page.
Cochrane Students, launched in December 2020, provides a clear involvement pathway for students. Once you have created your Cochrane account, complete the information on the ‘Students’ tab of your account page and start building your profile.
On the Cochrane Students page, the pathway is clearly laid out, guiding you through how you can learn about health evidence, find out more about the systematic review, ways in which you can build your profile, volunteering opportunities, and platforms for putting your learning into practice.
Cochrane Evidence Essentials is an online resource offering an introduction to Evidence Based Medicine, clinical trials and Cochrane evidence. There are 4 interactive modules in total, with links to further resources to continue your learning.
One way in which you can contribute to Cochrane’s work is by becoming a citizen scientist through Cochrane Crowd. This is an online platform where volunteers can help by categorising research, for example, identifying whether a study is a randomized controlled trial. You will be guided through interactive training first and then you can contribute as little or as much as you want.
Task Exchange connects people working in health evidence with people who have the time and skills to help. You can browse the available tasks and find something that matches your expertise and availability. Translations, consumer input, peer review, and screening are examples some of the tasks you may become involved in. You apply directly to the coordinator via Task Exchange, and there is also the option to ask questions directly to them before putting yourself forward to volunteer.
Cochrane UK introduction to EBM
An Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine has been created by Selena Ryan-Vig and Lynda Ware from Cochrane UK. On that page, you will also find some further useful evidence-based resources and reading.
Evidently Cochrane aims to make Cochrane evidence really accessible through blogs, usually featuring new or updated Cochrane reviews. You will find a wealth of information on the website on many different health, research, and evidence topics. You can sign up to receive the monthly round-up newsletters, and join in the conversation through commenting on the blogs.
Cochrane ECP group
The Early Career Professionals Cochrane Group provides a platform for international networking of early career professionals, with the aim of providing members the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills, and expertise.