While guarding against misinformation on social media, mechanisms are not protecting trusted information
Cochrane’s Instagram posts have been removed, their Instagram account has been shadow banned, and now a Cochrane Library Twitter post about winning a prestigious award for trustworthy information has been tagged as misleading. These incidents highlight the realities of Cochrane’s call against misinformation while protecting trusted sources.
Cochrane’s health evidence syntheses are recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. Cochrane Library reviews are used to support global and national health guidelines and policy. We advocate for evidence-informed healthcare and make our trusted evidence accessible and available to all. One way we do this is using social media to reach different audiences.
This week the prestigious Harding Prize for Useful and Trustworthy Communication was jointly awarded to by the ONS Covid Infection Survey and the Cochrane Review of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. The Harding Prize, run in association with Sense About Science and the Science Media Centre, and is supported by Sir David Harding, goal is to draw attention to the unsung task of 'informing and not persuading' and celebrate those who were doing it well.
The Harding Prize judges noted that the Cochrane Infectious Disease Group’s review of the evidence for the use of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 used clear language, communicated straightforwardly, and with balance that that there was no benefit to hydroxychloroquine which outweighed the side effects and that trials of it should be stopped. This review was done with rigorous methodology and communicated with clarity and directness, which enabled policy makers, journalists, and the public to discuss and make decisions based on the best evidence.
It was particularly ironic that a celebratory tweet from the Cochrane Library about winning an award for useful and trustworthy communication was tagged by Twitter for being misleading. This tag does not allow it to be replied to, shared, or liked.
“Social media platforms are starting to act on mis/disinformation by tagging posts that are deemed misleading and penalizing repeat offenders”, says Sylvia de Haan, Cochrane’s Head of Advocacy, Communications and Partnerships. “It’s likely our ‘misleading’ tag from Twitter was due to the hydroxychloroquine hashtag. However, misleading posts are still using this hashtag without restrictions, while a post from the Cochrane Library, a leader in health evidence synthesis, is blocked. This incident, like other recent examples, illustrates how the system is imperfect. It underscores the urgent need to not only guard against misinformation on social media but have better mechanisms to protect trusted information.”
“This latest social media blunder comes after the recent launch of the Cochrane Convenes Report which highlights the parallel challenges of generating trust in evidence and countering mis/disinformation and calls for concrete action to address these issues”, says Cochrane’s Editor in Chief, Dr Karla Soares-Weiser. “There is an ongoing issue with how you hold those deliberately creating and sharing mis/disinformation to account and how you form accreditation and approval for official sources of evidence that have met certain quality control standards. We need to make it easier for people to access trustworthy information – and that includes on social media.”
Cochrane is a proud supporter of WHO’s call to action on infodemic management and is currently collaborating with science communicators at Lifeology and the Association for Healthcare Social Media. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this recurrent issue with social media platforms directly and to work with others interested in supporting science communication. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and consider signing our call to action on trusted evidence for all in health emergencies.
Featured review: Do blood thinners prevent people who are hospitalised with COVID‐19 from developing blood clots?
The inaugural Harding Prize for Useful and Trustworthy Communication has been jointly won by the ONS Covid Infection Survey and the Cochrane Review of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.
The Winton Centre at the University of Cambridge launched the Harding Prize this year to celebrate individuals or teams who had communicated information in a trustworthy and useful way - that genuinely helped people decide what to do, or help them judge a decision made by others. The award was run in association with Sense About Science and the Science Media Centre, and is supported by Sir David Harding. The organisers wanted to draw attention to the unsung task of 'informing and not persuading' and celebrate those who were doing it well.
The Harding Prize aims to encourage evidence to be presented in a balanced, non-manipulative way, open to talking about pros and cons, and about uncertainties, designed to help the audience make up their own mind on a subject – not to lead them to the conclusions that the communicator wants them to draw.
Dr Bhagteshwar Singh, and his co-authors of the Cochrane Review, published by the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group said: “We are honoured to receive this award. Our aim was to provide clinicians, policymakers and the public with a balanced, trustworthy, and clear account of the potential benefits and harms of hydroxychloroquine when used for COVID-19. This award confirms that our review was communicated clearly and transparently, which we are thrilled to hear.”
The organisers bought together an illustrious judging panel, comprising:
- Helen Boaden (Chair): previously Director of BBC News.
- Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam: Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England
- Baroness Onora O’Neill: philosopher and presenter of 2002 Reith Lectures on ‘A Question of Trust’
- Fraser Nelson: Editor, Spectator
- Helen Jamison: previously Deputy Director of the Science Media Centre.
The judges made the following comments about Cochrane as a joint winner:
As with all its projects, the Cochrane review worked to internationally agreed methodology and prioritised high quality (randomised) evidence. This particular review was a summary of the evidence for the use of hydroxychloroquine in treating Covid-19. Using clear language, it communicated straightforwardly and with balance that that there was no benefit to hydroxychloroquine which outweighed the side effects and that trials of it should be stopped. That decision was then made.
This subject may seem minor in the UK where treatment by hydroxychloroquine was never a big part of medical discussion. However, many millions of people around the world, especially in the USA and Brazil, were encouraged by their leaders to take this treatment seriously.
The panel felt that just as the ONS survey was the bedrock of accurate information about Covid-19 infection rates in the UK, the Cochrane approach delivered rigorous, trustworthy and balanced reviews of scientific papers communicated with clarity and directness. Such reviews enabled policy makers, journalists and the public to discuss and make decisions based on the best evidence.
Helen Boaden, Chair of the judging panel, commented: “It's never been more important for the public and policy makers to have access to the best possible evidence before they make significant decisions for themselves or others. Both our winners set the gold standard for clearly communicating accurate, trustworthy, transparent data without frills or spin. The panel is delighted to jointly award them the inaugural Harding Prize.”
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, Chair of the Winton Centre, said: “The panel considered many fine examples, and we are delighted with the examples that they chose. We had intended to have a booby, ‘weasel words’ prize for untrustworthy communication dressed up as an unbiased source. There were many possible candidates, particularly in social media and in scientific pre-prints that had not gone through any peer review. But we finally decided that it would be inappropriate to highlight, and indeed publicise, such poor practice, and instead chose to focus on the positive efforts people have made. The Royal Society’s recent report makes clear that online misinformation is best tackled, not through censorship, but by encouraging a diverse media, independent fact-checking, careful monitoring, and education.”
Tracey Brown, director of Sense about Science, said: “Statistics are the currency of public life. They are how we can describe the world and debate what is getting worse or better, and never more so than during the pandemic. We are so pleased to support the Harding prize in celebrating the individuals who have sought to equip people with the means to be part of those debates."
Fiona Fox, Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre, said: “These are fantastic winners. The brilliant thing about the ONS survey is that it was communicated independently from the government communications machine so that the media and the public got to see the numbers every week free from government messaging. And in the middle of an ‘infodemic’ where 1000s of scientific papers of variable quality were circulating, Cochrane’s high quality review summarising where the best evidence lay on a much-hyped treatment undoubtedly saved lives.”
Emma Rourke, Director of health analysis and pandemic insight at ONS, said: :The Covid Infection Survey has required the skill and perseverance of a large and multi-talented team. At our core has been the need to communicate such an important and sensitive issue accurately to a diverse audience, and be trusted to do so. We are delighted with this award, and are gratified that the information we have provided has proved valuable to expert users and influential on policy, but also understood clearly by the public."
Researchers and methodologists have an important contribution to make to the response to climate change, by producing and synthesizing evidence relevant to climate-health impacts. While Cochrane has identified climate change as a key issue in its strategic plans, this editorial explores how to translate that high-level awareness into action and what work is needed.
This webinar recording from Denise Thomson, founder and convenor of the Cochrane Climate-Health Working Group, explains the group’s work and why they believe that evidence synthesis and knowledge translation are so important in tackling climate change.
Cochrane US and Lifeology hosted an International Women's Day themed #sciart challenge. The two winning designs have been selected and added to the Cochrane Store.
For International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8th, Cochrane hosted several free events, including an art and graphic challenge with Cochrane US and Lifeology to illustrate the theme of IWD for 2022: #BreakTheBias. The art or graphic had to be related to healthcare and/or evidence synthesis.
Two amazing designs were selected and we spoke to the artists to learn more about the meaning behind the designs.
This pen and ink piece has to do with the personal geographies of women navigating their own bodies, health science, and economic access within what seems at times like an ocean wave or radio wave of fluidity. It represents the collaborative of women, building on each other's successes, and rising to higher peaks of understanding.
Shauna Lee Lange is the founder of Steam Creatives. She is an artist, analyst, and advisor with over 30 years experience in creative industries and government regulatory oversight. In 2005, she combined work in both fields to concentrate on a range of activities from self-taught professional artist, curator, and show producer to inside art influencer in the global art market. The digital component of her expert art advisory services known as Metaverse Watchdogs tracks the NFT, NFT art, crypto art, and blockchain art spaces. Steam Creatives was born out of a need to find a home for art that centered on visual communication within science and technology. Lange makes her home on Central California's coast, a place of much untouched natural beauty. You can view more of Shauna's work on the Steam Creatives website: https://steamcreatives.com/
Three women from diverse backgrounds strike the "Break the Bias pose". Each of the women are stacked on top of one another so their crossed arms form the crossings of a double helix. The rest of the DNA strands are filled with small science-themed doodles coloured in black.
Abbey Morris is a recent graduate from the Master of Science Communication program at Laurentian University in Canada. She loves science communication because it allows her to bridge her interests in art, science, and social justice. Abbey strives to make scicomm a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive space for people to share their passion for science in creative and engaging ways. You can find more of Abbey's work on her website: https://abbeymor.wixsite.com/home
Lina Cellante is a medical biotechnologist currently cutting her teeth in the medical writing world. In her previous life she was a researcher dealing with drug delivery and nanoparticles to fight brain cancer. During the years spent in the lab, she felt a growing need to better communicate her daily work and to find a way to interact more effectively with other scientists. After her Master's degree, she graduated in Journalism and Science communication and worked at the European Commission as a scientific communication officer. She has always been passionate about writing and her interests are nutrition, its positive influence on body health and mind, and how to make the most out of the technology we have to stimulate curiosity and convey positive messages. You can find more of Lina's work on her Lifeapp space: https://lifeapps.io/author/healthbites/
These designs are now available for a limited time in the Cochrane Store - on totes, t-shirts, and mugs!Friday, March 25, 2022
A statement from Cochrane's Governing Board:
"Ukraine situation: Cochrane is an independent, diverse, global organization that collaborates to produce trusted synthesized evidence, make it accessible to all, and advocate for its use. Our guiding principles include participation, collaboration and access. We endorse peace, and share World Health Organization's concern for the health of those affected.
Cochrane and Wiley provide one-click free access to the Cochrane Library for Ukraine via IP recognition. There is also full text access available through a partnership with Research4Life for Refugee Camps recognized by UNRWA or categorized by UNHCR as 'planned/managed camps.'"
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Find exactly the evidence you need: at-a-glance PICO summaries now available with Cochrane Abstracts
With the new feature including PICO terms on review pages, you will be able to find the most relevant Cochrane evidence to answer your research or clinical question.
One way to construct a well-built question is to use the PICO model. PICO stands for Population, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcomes.
- Population (or Patient or Problem) What are the characteristics of the patient or population – for example condition?
- Intervention What is the intervention under consideration for this patient or population – for example a drug or surgical intervention?
- Comparison What is the alternative to the intervention ¬– for example a different drug or a placebo?
- Outcome What are the relevant outcomes – for example quality of life or adverse events?
Cochrane's Information Specialists and Data Curation Specialists have annotated the PICO terms of Cochrane Reviews using the Cochrane Vocabulary.
"Adding PICO summaries to Cochrane reviews will make Cochrane evidence more accessible and increase its use in health and care decisions, which is part of Cochrane’s mission.” says Cochrane’s Editor in Chief, Dr Karla Soares-Weiser.
You can already use PICO Search to find reviews in which the search term is used as a Population, Intervention, Comparison, or Outcome. For example, PICO Search enables you to find reviews which consider Diabetes specifically as a Population component or alternativity as an Outcome component, therefore enabling you to search with precision on the PICO terms which are of specific interest.
Every Cochrane Review from 2015 onwards now have the PICO terms listed under the abstract. This PICO overview helps ensure you find the most relevant Cochrane evidence to answer your research or clinical question. You will also be able to click on the individual PICO terms to see search results for all our Reviews tagged with that PICO term.
“We worked directly with users of the Cochrane Library to learn about what improvements they wanted and how we could improve their journey on the site” said Rachel Craven, Head of Cochrane Library. “Having PICO terms expertly annotated in Cochrane Reviews can help answer your research and clinical questions – we’re excited to see them now prominently placed below each Cochrane Abstract.”
76% of new guidelines issued by WHO referenced Cochrane reviews in 2021.
Cochrane’s status as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) was recently renewed at WHO’s Executive Board meeting.
The official relation status enables us to join and make statements at key WHO meetings as a non-voting participant. This includes the World Health Assembly (WHA), WHO’s decision-making body, which is attended by representatives of all Member States, and is a key forum to advocate for evidence-informed health policies.
The renewal is also underpinned by a new joint plan of work for the next three years. Activities in the plan include:
- Providing relevant evidence synthesis and methodological support for consideration in the development of new WHO guidelines, the Essential Medicines List and other guidance
- Supporting WHO with training in the interpretation of evidence synthesis
- Contributing to activities which facilitate the use of evidence in policymaking at national, regional and global levels
- Collaboration on areas of mutual interest, including on essential medicines and diagnostics; research integrity; healthy ageing; reproductive health and nutrition
WHO is a key partner for Cochrane. This relationship enables us to provide input on the way research evidence is identified, synthesized, assessed and used by WHO – and ultimately contribute to improved health for all.
Use of Cochrane evidence in WHO guidance: in figures
Cochrane has been in official relations with WHO since 2011. As of 1 February 2022, 732 reviews from 47 Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) have been used to inform 251 WHO accredited guidelines and other evidence-based recommendations.
In 2021, 76% of new WHO guidelines were informed by evidence from Cochrane reviews. A total of 78 reviews from 16 different CRGs are referenced.
Cochrane reviews have also been used in WHO’s COVID-19 technical guidance. Last year, a total of 13 reviews were used across 20 of WHO’s COVID-19 publications.
Cochrane is proud to be a core partner of the Evidence Collaboration on COVID-19 (ECC-19), coordinated by the WHO Science Division. We were also delighted that WHO was a co-sponsor of Cochrane Convenes and we hope to collaborate further in taking forward some of the recommendations in the resulting Call to Action.
A community effort
The relationship with WHO is supported by the efforts of many members of the Cochrane community. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this ongoing, impactful work. Particular thanks also go to Emma Carter at Cochrane UK for her work in charting how Cochrane reviews are used in WHO guidelines and other technical guidance.
For more information on the work that Cochrane does with WHO, please get in touch with Emma Thompson, Cochrane’s Advocacy and Partnerships Manager.
Read our statements made at recent major WHO events
We are pleased to share the winners of the 2021 Cochrane-REWARD prize.
The Cochrane-REWARD prize recognizes successful local or pilot initiatives that have potential to reduce research waste globally if scaled up. Cochrane has funded the prize since it began in 2017. For this iteration of the prize, submissions related to tackling research waste relevant to COVID-19 were encouraged.
The prize ceremony took place on 1 March virtually (recordings are available below). Two representatives of the prize committee – Matt Westmore, Chief Executive of the UK Health Research Authority, and Lex Bouter, Professor of Methodology and Integrity at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – joined to announce the winners, who gave short presentations on their initiatives. Lisa Bero, Cochrane’s Senior Research Integrity Editor, also joined the session to give an update on Cochrane’s research integrity agenda.
2021 Cochrane-REWARD prize winners
This year was particularly competitive, with many very strong contenders for the prize committee to consider. Thank you to all who submitted nominations, and congratulations to the winners below:
First prize: COVID-END
The COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-making (COVID-END) was awarded first prize. Jeremy Grimshaw and John Lavis accepted the prize on behalf of the network.
COVID-END is a time-limited network of 58 global evidence synthesis, guidance and decision support partner organizations established to better coordinate the evidence synthesis response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce research waste.
Together with its partners, COVID-END has worked to reduce waste in all five stages of research. Selected highlights include:
- Setting up a global horizon scanning panel to proactively identify recurrent and emerging issues requiring evidence syntheses in the coming months.
- Developing interactive flow-diagrams for researchers and guideline developers planning to work on a new review or guideline pointing them to helpful resources, while encouraging them to ensure that they are not duplicating the efforts of another group.
- Creating an inventory of best evidence syntheses highlighting quality up-to-date living syntheses that make it easier for decision makers to find the best evidence.
- Establishing a COVID-END community and living hub of COVID-19 knowledge hubs to link evidence synthesis, guidance and decision-support groups around the world interested in learning from others and sharing best practices.
- Providing the foundation for the Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges, a report which aims to seize on the once-in-a-generation focus on evidence presented by the pandemic, calling for sustained efforts to systematize the successful aspects of using evidence and to address the shortfalls.
This is drawing directly from COVID-END partners (and their lessons learned) to shape the report’s contents and identify pathways to influence for the Commission’s recommendations at global, national and local levels.
The prize committee was particularly impressed with COVID-END’s global reach, which includes participation from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The committee also saw that such an approach could be adapted and deployed for other crises in the future.
Second prize: MRC-NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership
The MRC-NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership (TMRP) received the second prize. Paula Williamson accepted the prize on behalf of the initiative.
TMRP is a community of practice which draws together several networks, academic institutions and partners engaged in trials and trials methodology research to strengthen links between trialists, methods researchers, clinicians, patients, the public and funders. It includes eight thematic working groups on topics such as adaptive designs, outcomes, statistical analysis and trial conduct.
As well as leading to more impactful research and less duplication of effort, better networking facilitated by TRMP enabled researchers to pivot and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Selected network projects include:
- A priority-setting exercise to develop a trials methodology research agenda, feeding more specific exercises for recruitment and retention research, patient and public involvement in methods research, and priorities for methods research in LMICs.
- Designing clinical trials, including several platform trials of potential COVID-19 treatments, including the RECOVERY, AGILE, and HEAL-COVID trials.
- Developing COVID-19 core outcome sets (COS), including a ‘meta-COS’ for acute COVID-19, a COS for COVID-19 transmission prevention and a COS for Long COVID.
- Producing guidance and tools for researchers to support transparent and complete reporting of research.
The panel was very impressed with TRMP’s large body of work to date. We saw great potential to improve the overall standards of trial design, analysis and reporting if the approach were to be scaled up across further contexts.
Thank you to the Cochrane-REWARD prize committee
Special thanks to the Cochrane-REWARD prize committee for reviewing the entries during what was an especially competitive year for the prize. In 2021, the prize committee was:
- Lex Bouter, Professor of Methodology and Integrity, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- Sabine Kleinert (chair), Senior Executive Editor, The Lancet
- Joan Marsh, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet Psychiatry
- Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga, Professor in Evidence-Based Laboratory Animal Science, Radboud University Medical Center
- Kieron Rooney, Associate Professor, University of Sydney
- Matt Westmore, Chief Executive, UK Health Research Authority
Lifeology’s tagline is ‘The place where science and art converge’. They offer a platform that brings together scientists, artists, and storytellers to help people better understand and engage with science and health information and research. One of the main ways they meet their objectives is through beautifully illustrated, science-backed, bite-sized ‘flashcard’ courses about science and health-related topics aimed at the general public and students.
Knowing more about the people in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM), how they faced adversity and overcame obstacles may inspire others to choose STEAM careers. This was the goal of Lifeology's Historic STEAM Heros card deck. Though art and storytelling they share the story of historical STEAM figures and their excellent but often under-promoted work.
In recognition of International Women's Day (IWD) happening March 8th, they have selected Anne Anderson to add to their card deck. Anne Anderson was a contributor to the stream of thinking and effort that gave birth to evidence-based health care and led to development of Cochrane. We spoke with the artist who illustrated the card, Anna Doherty, to learn more about the project.
Hi, Anna! Our Cochrane Community always finds it interesting to learn the backstory to things and learn more about people. Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hi! I’m an illustrator and author from Edinburgh, Scotland. Ever since I was very small, I’ve always enjoyed drawing, so when I finished school I went to study illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. After graduating, I decided to study a masters in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. Since graduating there, I’ve been working on a mixture of illustrating picture books, science illustration, and other little projects. I now have ten illustrated picture books published, some of which I wrote too! I am especially excited about working in non-fiction, which is why I think I enjoy science illustration so much, because I love learning new facts and finding fun new things to share with people. I have a mini-series called Fantastically Feminist which focuses on celebrating stories of amazing women. I wanted to make a space for kids to read in which not only showed that everyone should be equal, and that anyone can do anything regardless of their gender, but also that celebrated women who struggled to try and make things more equal for the rest of us in brilliant ways.
What an interesting mix of projects! How would you describe your art style?
I would describe my art style as digital mixed media. I usually draw on a Wacom tablet, which is connected to my computer. When I draw on the tablet, the marks I’m making come up on my screen in photoshop. I use a selection of brushes, and add in scanned textures that I’ve made with ink and paint to add some interest.
You’ve done some science communication and some lovely ‘Women in STEAM’ work. Can you tell us how you got into that?
I got into science communication through my picture book Ada Lovelace. I had always loved maths at school, so when I first heard about Ada, I was fascinated, and I started absorbing every fact about her that I could lay my hands on. After I published my book about her, it opened the door to the world of science illustration, and I was particularly excited about promoting more women in STEAM. Ada’s work wasn’t really recognised until after her death, so it’s amazing to be able to celebrate women and gender diverse scientists who are working today!
Anne Anderson is a beloved person in the Cochrane Community - we do a walk every year in her honour to raise money for an annual award in her name. Can you tell us a bit about working on that artwork?
I loved working on Anne Anderson’s illustration because she wasn’t a story I had explored before. It was fun to draw a Scottish scientist! I started by reading the research that Lifeology had collated already, and did a little more digging myself. With every ‘Historic STEAM Hero’ illustration, I start by drawing the portrait so I can get to know the person a little better first. Then I make a little list of the key things I want to include in the illustration, and think about how I can represent them. Because I work digitally, I tend to draw all the little icons first and then move them around the face to find the best composition. Each illustration is greyscale with one colour, and I chose purple for Anne because it’s the colour of International Women’s Day and represents Cochrane!
Covidence is a web-based software platform that streamlines the production of systematic reviews, including Cochrane Reviews. They have recently announced the launch of the Covidence Global Scholarship Program that financially support the next generation of superstar evidence researchers around the world. With a $75,000 funding pool they will be supporting some of the world’s brightest PhD and Masters students so they can spend more time creating knowledge that will make a big impact in the world.
Applicants to the Covidence Global Scholarship must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be a current PhD or Master by dissertation students of any nationality
- Be enrolled in any discipline at an accredited university during this academic year
- Be undertaking or will be starting a systematic review as part of the dissertation in the six months following the award (June-Dec 2022)
Covidence will be awarding 52 scholarships in total. Application are open until 31st March 11.59pm EST.
To support the Global Scholarship Evidence, Covidence is seeking Expressions of Interest from qualified individuals to serve on theScholarship selection panel. To be eligible to participate, panel members must hold a Masters or PhD degree, or have equivalent experience. To ensure balanced representation on the panel, they encourage applications from diverse backgrounds and experience. Panel members will receive a USD$1000 honorarium.
If you have any questions about submitting an Expression of Interest, please contact Nancy Owens, Head of Community Management at Covidence, at email@example.com. Expressions of interest for panelists close on Thursday, 31 March 2022, at 5.00 pm GMT.
Covidence is a SaaS social enterprise platform used around the world and by some of the world’s leading institutions to accelerate the systematic review workflow, making it easier to turn the flood of new scientific research into high-quality, trustworthy knowledge summaries. Established in 2014, Covidence provides free access to users in low-income countries and those participating in COVID-19 research. To find out more about Covidence go to www.covidence.org
Assistant Managing Editor/Information Specialist, fixed term to 31 March 2023
Deadline to apply: 7 March 2022
Cochrane Neuromuscular is seeking an Information Specialist/Assistant Managing Editor on a fixed-term basis to 31 March 2023. This is an opportunity to contribute to evidence synthesis for the benefit of people affected by neuromuscular diseases.
Cochrane Neuromuscular is part of Cochrane, an independent, global organisation dedicated to synthesising research evidence to improve health. The group publishes reviews of evidence in neuromuscular disease in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR). Cochrane Neuromuscular is hosted by University College London NHS Hospitals Trust.
As postholder, you will have two primary areas of responsibility: literature searching, and assisting the Managing Editor in the management of submitted reviews. You will develop search strategies, run searches, and ensure correct documentation. Editorial tasks will include providing information to authors, checking manuscripts, overseeing peer review, tracking progress, and liaising between authors, editors, and reviewers. The appointee will also provide the review group with administrative support and may have the opportunity to assist review authors with systematic review tasks.
For details see nhsjobs.com. Closing date 7 March 2022.
- Full time fixed term until February 2023 (possibility of extension)
- Great opportunity for an early career researcher to join a supportive and well respected team, making an impact in health based research
- Base Salary $98,645 + 17% superannuation
- Applications Close: Sunday 27 February 2022
About the opportunity
The NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre has an exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to contribute to a range of projects using NextGen evidence synthesis methodologies and conducting meta-research.
Projects will likely include; finding and implementing ideal strategies in childhood obesity prevention interventions with the TOPCHILD collaboration, assessing eating disorder risk in obesity treatment, and conducting meta-research to find and reduce reasons for research waste and increase collaboration and coordination in research.
This is a research-only position, based at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre. The successful applicant will be working in the NextGen Evidence Synthesis team within the Evidence Integration Team. There will be an opportunity to develop NextGen evidence synthesis specialist skills, and to attend academic conferences to present project work. The successful applicant will be expected to make an active contribution to papers and new grant submissions arising from this work.
Your key responsibilities will be to:
- undertake systematic reviews
- work on individual participant data meta-analyses with large data sets
- work with a large number of international collaborators and other stakeholders.
- a strong research background including a PhD qualification and competitive publication track record in a relevant field (systematic reviews, obesity, neonatology, epidemiology, public health, quantitative research or biostatistics)
- formal qualifications in research methods, such as Masters level qualifications in epidemiology, biostatistics or public health is highly desired
- ability to work independently, conceive, initiate, organise and manage projects
- excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- the successful applicant will combine quantitative research skills with excellent communication and scientific writing skills
- experience in systematic reviews and meta-analyses is highly desirable
- experience in research implementation and communication with a broad range of stakeholders (e.g. policy makers, consumers) is desirable, but not essential.
To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.
Sponsorship/work rights for Australia
Please note: Visa sponsorship is not available for this position. For a continuing position, you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or an Australian Permanent Resident.
Australian Temporary Residents currently employed at the University of Sydney may be considered for a fixed term contract for the length of their visa, depending on the requirements of the hiring area and the position.
Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.
At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.
How to apply
- Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted here
- If you are a current employee of the University or a contingent worker with access to Workday, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.
- For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Lena Germinarios, Recruitment Operations, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.
- Click to view the Position Description for this role.
- Applications Close Sunday 27 February 2022 11:59 PM
Specifications: Part time (0.5FTE) Permanent
Salary: £48,500 per annum full time equivalent
Location: Remote, UK based
Application Closing Date: Friday 25 February 2022
Working within the agreed Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCA) project, develop and edit a derivative product that supports the relevance and applicability of Cochrane Reviews, and their presentation and delivery to healthcare professionals. Ensure content is developed to best practice, delivered to agreed publishing date and is consistent with the Cochrane’s vision and values.
Support the CCA Senior Editor with the editorial work and processes of the CCA team (including the CCA Editor in Chief and Cochrane’s publisher), with the aim of improving quality and efficiency through systems and guidance.
Cochrane is a global, independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesizing research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed. Our work is recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. An understanding of Cochrane’s work and health research more generally is an advantage, but not essential.
The majority of Cochrane Central Executive staff are located in London, UK, however flexible location or a part-time appointment are possible for the right candidate.
How to apply
- For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here.
- The deadline to receive your application is by Friday 25 February.
- The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples.
- Note that we will assess applications as they are received, and therefore may fill the post before the deadline.
- Interviews to be held on: tbc
Salary: £33,309 to £40,927
Hours: Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Closes: 11th March 2022
Job Ref: 155759
Oxford Population Health (The Nuffield Department of Population Health) contains world-renowned population health research groups and provides an excellent environment for multi-disciplinary research and teaching. The Clinical Trial Service Unit is a major international research institute within Oxford Population Health, and is one of the world’s leading centres for research into chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
As a Systematic Reviewer you will work with the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) group in a multidisciplinary research environment. You will provide systematic review expertise to authors of ongoing EPOC systematic reviews, and take a lead or collaborate with existing authors on completing and publishing high priority EPOC reviews.
To be considered you will have a PhD in a health related subject (or equivalent experience), an understanding of statistics and experience of conducting and publishing systematic reviews. You will also have strong quantitative skills the ability to communication clearly with others.
Register for Cochrane Connects meeting on research waste, including Cochrane-REWARD prize ceremony, and research integrity
Cochrane Connects - 1 March 17:00 – 18:00 GMT (check in your time zone) – Register Now
Join us for the next Cochrane Connects meeting, which will focus on research waste and research integrity.
This special edition of Cochrane Connects will feature the Cochrane-REWARD prize ceremony. Since 2017, the prize has gathered, assessed and publicized local or pilot initiatives with the potential to reduce research waste if scaled up globally. We will be joined by representatives of the external prize committee, who will announce the winners of the first and second prizes live. The winners will share more about their initiatives in short presentations and answer audience questions.
Monday, February 14, 2022
There will also be an update on Cochrane’s research integrity activities from Senior Research Integrity Editor Prof Lisa Bero, followed by an opportunity for interactive discussion on what more Cochrane could do in this area, and on research waste in the future.
Cochrane Connects is a series of free online events open to everyone. You will have the opportunity to meet colleagues and peers, hear about and celebrate achievements from the community and take part in active discussions to help shape Cochrane for the future.
Register now by following the link here.
Millions of lives could be saved if health evidence and communication is put at forefront of pandemic preparedness
New Cochrane Convenes report recommends urgent action among those who fund, generate and use evidence to ensure the world is better prepared.
Two years in, it is clear that COVID-19 has created an unprecedented focus on health evidence for people working in governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations as well as members of the public. Responsible governments and other bodies have “followed the science” or claimed to.
Since the early days of the pandemic, Cochrane and other research synthesis organizations have been curating and analysing the thousands of studies being published on COVID-19 to help decision makers make sense of the evidence. The arrival of Omicron reinforced the need for timely evidence as decision makers across the globe scrambled to guide healthcare services and the public once again.
Dr Karla Soares-Weiser, Editor in Chief, Cochrane explains, “Like many others, I have been deeply concerned about the widening of existing inequities and the way that those already vulnerable have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. As a community of evidence producers and users, we were not as prepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as we could have been.”
Seeking to learn from the experience, in October 2021, Cochrane, invited key thought leaders from around the world to reflect on their experiences of producing, sharing and using evidence during the pandemic. Working with co-sponsor WHO, and co-organizer COVID-END, the event was convened with a view to making a call to action on areas for improvement. A resulting report, published today, discusses the challenges faced and presents recommendations from the meeting.
The report highlights three major challenges:
- The evidence response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been inequitable –in terms of the focus of the evidence, who has been producing it and who it reaches
- Current scientific methods, tools and processes have been pushed to their limits in trying to answer questions at the speed demanded
- In the face of an infodemic, researchers have struggled to communicate scientific uncertainties and gain trust in the evidence
Over the course of 2022, Cochrane will engage with a wider group of experts to take forward the most pressing recommendations, including:
- Building support for creation of evidence synthesis unit/s in low and middle-income countries to help address global imbalance. This will mean some of the world’s poorest communities will have access to relevant evidence on what works in their region.
- Investing in science communications which will strengthen our ability to communicate uncertainty in a way citizens understand, as well as being more proactive about science communication.
- Strengthening of tools, methods, processes and relationships to ensure a rapid and relevant evidence response at national and global levels for the next global health emergency.
The report also calls on other key stakeholders in evidence generation and use to take urgent action:
- Funders to provide resources to meet national and international research needs, which must address inequities; and particularly to fund evidence generation, communication, networks and infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries
- Politicians to demand evidence; be transparent about how (and what) evidence is used in decision making; and to hold to account those deliberately creating and sharing mis/disinformation
- Researchers to support research transparency and data sharing; and raise the alarm about fraudulent studies
- Science communicators to learn what works in communicating uncertainty, generating trust in evidence and countering mis/disinformation
Dr John Grove, Director of the Quality assurance, norms and standards department, Science division. WHO HQ, said,
“WHO, with our clear global mandate, will continue to bring focus to the priority questions, design what is most relevant for countries, combat misinformation, push for reducing inequities of access to the best science, and redouble activities to lead and coordinate these aspects of the response. Our main platform will continue to be building out a living approach to guidance development and implementation.”
Dr Karla Soares-Weiser, Editor in Chief, Cochrane said,
"We have all seen how the COVID-19 pandemic and its wider impacts have claimed many lives around the world. Cochrane Convenes was organized out of a sense of responsibility to learn from our experiences of the evidence response so that we can be better equipped for future health emergencies.
The Cochrane community is a powerful and diverse global network, which we can harness to drive change. Of course, we cannot, and will not, do this in isolation. I hope that this report is therefore a call to action to funders, political leaders and other parts of the research community to join us in taking the recommendations forward."