2023 Cochrane Methods Symposium

Imagine a world where health decisions are based on the highest quality evidence, leading to better health outcomes for everyone. At Cochrane, we strive to make this vision a reality. As the methods and data sources in evidence synthesis evolve,  we understand the importance of collaboration and innovation. That's why we're hosting the 2023 Cochrane Methods Symposium, where you'll have the opportunity to learn from Cochrane experts and industry leaders and connect with like-minded professionals.
If you're passionate about advancing high-quality evidence synthesis in the Cochrane ecosystem, this double session is perfect for you! Whether you're a researcher, healthcare professional, or simply a 'methods nerd', join us to gain valuable insights, networking opportunities, and the chance to contribute to the discussion.

Session 1: Facilitating review and data reuse across the research ecosystem (13:00 to 14:30 BST) 

Chaired by Joanne McKenzie and Tianjing Li (Cochrane Methods Executive).

Presentation 2:
Presentation 3:
Facilitating review and data reuse across the research ecosystem: data from trials
Per Olav Vandvik Ian Saldanha Lene Seidler
Per Olav Vandvik
MAGIC, Norway


Ian Saldanha
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA
Anna Lene Seidler

University of Sydney, Australia

Brian Alper
Invited speaker: Brian Alper
Computable Publishing LLC, USA
Panel discussion and questions 

Session 2: Equity in evidence synthesis (15:00 to 16:30 BST)

Chaired by Carl Moons and Su Golder (Cochrane Methods Executive).

Presentation 2:
Presentation 3:
Meera Viswanathan Vivian Welch Lotty Hooft
Meera Viswanathan
University of North Carolina, USA
Vivian Welch
Campbell Collaboration, Canada
Lotty Hooft
UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands
Panel discussion and questions 

Let's get social!

Share that you're attending on Twitter or raise your questions on evidence synthesis in public health and complex interventions to our expert panel ahead of the event using #CochraneMethodsSymp.

Speaker details

Dr Anna Lene Seidler is a Senior Research Fellow and biostatistician at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre (CTC), University of Sydney where she leads the NextGen Evidence Synthesis team. She is Co-Convenor for the Cochrane Prospective Meta-Analysis Group and Research Associate for the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. Lene specialises in systematic reviews, methods development, prospective meta-analysis and individual participant data (IPD). She leads several large international research projects, such as the iCOMP collaboration and the TOPCHILD collaboration. Her clinical focus areas are obesity and neonatology.

Dr Ian Saldanha is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Center for Clinical Trials Evidence Synthesis at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Relevant to the topic of this session, he is the Director of the Systematic Review Data Repository Plus (SRDR+), a free platform for conducting systematic reviews and sharing data from them. With funding from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the SRDR+ team has embarked on efforts to make systematic review data in SRDR+ shareable (using contemporary standards) across the evidence ecosystem. Dr Saldanha has also researched the use of outcomes and core outcome sets in clinical research. 

Dr Per Olav Vandvik is a hospital-based internist and health research methodologist based in Oslo, Norway. Dr Vandvik is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the development of digitally structured guidelines, evidence summaries and decision aids for clinicians and patients through the MAGIC online authoring and publication platform. On behalf of MAGIC, he also co-steers the BMJ Rapid Recommendations, an international collaboration with the BMJ to accelerate evidence into practice through trustworthy recommendations. Dr Vandvik was a Trustee of the Board for the Guideline International Network (G-I-N) from 2014 until 2020 and co-chair of the Working Group for Guidelines and HTA in COVID-END that involves more than 60 partner organisations.

Dr Brian Alper (MD, MSPH, FAAFP, FAMIA) has 25 years of experience in evidence-based medicine, clinical reference solutions, clinical decision support, shared decision-making, business development, systems development and team development. Founding achievements include DynaMed (1993), Dynamic Medical Information Systems LLC (2001), EBSCO Health Innovations and EBM Development department (2016), EBMonFHIR project (2018), COVID-19 Information Portal (2020), COVID-19 Knowledge Accelerator (2020), Computable Publishing LLC (2020), Fast Evidence Interoperability Resources (FEvIR) Platform (2021) and Scientific Knowledge Accelerator Foundation (2021). COVID-19 Knowledge Accelerator became the Health Evidence Knowledge Accelerator in 2023 and is an open volunteer effort with 14 active working group meetings each week advancing Dr Alper's current mission of enabling standard-based machine-interpretable expression of knowledge, especially related to healthcare and scientific evidence.

Dr Meera Viswanathan is a health services researcher working on systematic review and related methods. She has worked extensively on methods to refine and add rigour to systematic reviews. She has led or participated in the development of tools and guidance to assess the risk of bias in observational studies and systematic reviews. Dr Viswanathan also developed guidance on evaluating conflict of interest from nonfinancial sources, conducting reviews of complex interventions, and conducting rapid reviews. Her systematic reviews support the United States Preventive Services Taskforce and professional societies in generating national recommendations and clinical practice guidelines. She serves as the co-PI on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project on centring racial health equity in systematic reviews. She co-directs the RTI International (RTI) University of North Carolina Evidence-based (UNC) Practice Center, which also serves as a Cochrane US Network Affiliate. She is a Senior Fellow at RTI International and a Research Fellow and adjunct faculty at UNC.

Dr Vivian Welch is the Editor in Chief of the Campbell Library, co-convenor of the Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group and co-director of Cochrane Global Ageing. Her research interests include health equity, systematic review methodology, global health, and knowledge translation, focusing on improving reporting of health equity considerations in systematic reviews, randomized trials and guidelines. 

Dr Lotty Hooft is the Cochrane Netherlands Centre director, based at the Julius Center - UMC Utrecht (The Netherlands). She is a professor at the Julius Center, Department of Epidemiology & Health Economics and in the Julius Center Research Program Methodology. Her expertise includes the development of methods for appraising diagnostic and prognosis evidence in healthcare, focusing recently on prognosis model studies. 

If you have any questions about the Cochrane Methods Symposium, contact us at support@cochrane.org

Are you interested in joining a Cochrane Methods Group? More info on how to join is available here.