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Friday, December 02, 2016

Reducing research waste – messages from the Cochrane community



Reducing research waste – messages from the Cochrane community | Cochrane Community


Key messages from the survey and the Special Session include:
  • Support priority setting processes for systematic reviews. All Cochrane Review Groups are already encouraged to engage in a formal prioritization process, and many Cochrane Review Groups are already defining their priorities and examples are being documented. However, the processes followed to define the priorities vary, and it also remains a challenge to include priorities of disadvantaged groups and low and middle income countries. Not surprisingly, about 60% of survey respondents indicated Cochrane could do more in priority setting, for example by being more inclusive and by developing a clearer and more consistent process.
  • Advocate for systematic reviews with funding organizations: 86% of respondents to the survey felt that Cochrane could do more in working with research funders in advocating systematic reviews be conducted prior to funding new research.
  • Speed up the ‘empty review’ process: 62% of survey respondents indicated that ‘empty reviews’ (reviews that have no studies eligible for inclusion or only included a single small RCT) are very to extremely important. “Empty reviews are important but they ought to take weeks not months, at least once the search is complete. As soon as you see the review is empty, getting that out should be very, very quick.” In response to this concern, Cochrane will change the focus of ‘empty reviews’ from guiding clinical practices to identifying research gaps and stimulating further research in relevant areas. A pilot to change the editorial process for empty reviews will take place in 2017.
  • Work with partners to strengthen reporting of research: 60% of survey respondents felt that Cochrane should do more in ensuring better reporting of research and research results, among other in clinical trial registries, especially through working with strategic partners such as AllTrials and WHO ICTRP.
  • Automate the review process: The production of more rapid reviews is important and automation tools are a means to do this. Project Transform is an important step in this direction, but will need continued contribution from the Cochrane community and beyond to succeed.

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