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Transforming Cochrane

If Cochrane were a car, some might see it as a beige 1995 Volvo station wagon; incredibly safe, magnificently reliable, but in need of an update. Cochrane has achieved a lot in the past 20 years: over 6500 reviews have been completed by a network of 30 000 contributors from 130 countries. We are recognised for the quality and rigour of our evidence syntheses, our leadership in methods development and our contribution to the world of evidence-based health care.

But, as we settle into our third decade, we also know that if Cochrane is going to thrive, we need to change. Our content needs to be more useable, timely and relevant, and delivered without compromising on quality. To achieve this, Cochrane is transforming how it goes about its work. We are investing in initiatives to bring people, processes and technology together that will maximise the value of our networks, improve how we conduct our reviews and provide new ways of using the data in Cochrane reviews.

Initiatives include using machine learning to reduce the time taken to retrieve research relevant to our reviews; crowdsourcing to increase the efficiency new research is screened and tagged; and online platforms that connect people who need help with their reviews with those who have the time and expertise to lend a hand.

Cochrane now has a dedicated online tool, Covidence, for managing several steps of the review process, from screening and selecting studies…