Welcome to Cochrane Methods

LATEST: 

  • Why the Cochrane Risk of bias tool should or should not include funding source as a standard item is debated by Lisa Bero and Jonathan Sterne following on from their presentations at the recent Methods symposium in Québec City, Canada, October 2013.
  • Reviews of qualitative evidence a new milestone for Cochrane. Cochrane Library editorial highlights the first publication of a discreet qualitative review that integrates and synthesises its findings with an intervention review to address intervention barriers and facilitators to better inform decision makers, in this case the World Health Organization.
  • Should The Cochrane Collaboration be producing reviews of efficiency? A Cochrane Library Anniversary editorial from the Campbell and Cochrane Economic Methods Group addresses this question to foster methods development and capacity building within Cochrane to routinely incorporate economic perspectives and evidence into its reviews, thereby increasing relevance and usefulness to decision makers.                                                                                              

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Apples and oranges

Cochrane Methods is the virtual community, comprising a wide range of Cochrane groups and individuals, which exists to support the development and application of rigorous methodology to help ensure that all Cochrane systematic reviews meet the highest standards of quality. 

Cochrane has been at the forefront of systematic review methodology for over 20 years. Cochrane systematic reviews attempt to collate all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question. They use transparent and reproducible research methods that are selected with a view to minimizing bias, thus providing more reliable findings from which conclusions can be drawn and decisions made. Cochrane currently publishes four types of reviews: systematic reviews of interventions; systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy; methodology reviews; and overviews.

Cochrane has 16 Methods Groups. Methods currently used in all Cochrane systematic reviews are: question formulation, information retrieval, data collection, bias assessment, statistics and meta-analysis and summary of findings. However, the methods used in systematic reviews are continually evolving and therefore the Cochrane Methods community now also supports a range of more specialised methods for: qualitative data synthesis, inclusion of evidence from non-randomised studies and economic evaluations, comparison of multiple interventions and agenda and priority setting (this list is not exhaustive – see About and Methods Groups for further details of methods currently supported).

Cochrane has also recently developed its own set of methodological standards for the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Reviews. 

This site is intended for review authors, members of Methods Groups and Cochrane Review editorial teams as well as anyone interested in becoming more familiar with Cochrane methods. Information about methods-related activities and outputs within The Cochrane Collaboration will be provided here, including details of: methods innovations, developments, research, training and network events.

This site is under development (beta version) and will therefore be re-configured as new information is uploaded. Please provide feedback on the site. 

Jackie Chandler, Methods Co-ordinator

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Cochrane turns 20

Cochrane turns 20