Every year Cochrane recognizes the outstanding work of Thomas C Chalmers, famous for his role in the development of the randomized controlled trial and meta-analysis in medical research. Thomas is perhaps best known for the notion ‘randomize the first patient’, his belief that it is more ethical to randomize patients than to treat them in the absence of good evidence.
To acknowledge Tom's work, Cochrane gives an annual award at its Colloquium to the principal author of both the best oral and the best poster presentation addressing methodological issues related to systematic reviews given by an early career investigator. The presentations must demonstrate originality of thought, high quality science, relevance to the advancement of the science of systematic reviews and clarity of presentation.
In 2016 the winner of the Thomas Chalmers Award for the best oral presentation was Daniel Korevaar, a resident of internal medicine at MC Slotervaart in Amsterdam.
He wanted to share with us a little more about his work, and what made him decide to enter for this prestigious Cochrane award.
I graduated from medical school at the University of Amsterdam in 2012. During medical school, I did a scientific internship on publication bias in preclinical animal research at the Dutch Cochrane Centre, which was then located at our university. I found the topic very interesting and relevant and decided to learn more about performing systematic reviews, and about potential sources of bias and how to identify them.
After medical school, I started working on my PhD thesis at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at the University of Amsterdam. My research projects focused on uncovering deficiencies in the process of reporting and publishing diagnostic accuracy studies, and to help identify solutions. I successfully defended my PhD thesis in November 2016, just after last year’s Cochrane Colloquium in Seoul.
At the Colloquium, I was delighted to win the Thomas Chalmers Award for best oral presentation.
My presentation was about time to publication among diagnostic accuracy studies. In our research project, we found that studies that report higher estimates of accuracy are published more quickly than those reporting lower estimates. As a consequence, reporting bias may also play a role in systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy studies. I decided to enter this project for the award, as it is still largely unknown to which extent reporting bias may be an issue in such reviews. Our findings suggest that reviewers of diagnostic accuracy studies should make efforts to identify and include unpublished studies, and therefore it seemed extremely relevant to the work of the Cochrane Community.
I am proud to have won this award. I am currently working as a resident of internal medicine at MC Slotervaart in Amsterdam, but my plan is to keep combining research with my clinical activities.
Winning this award has been very motivating in this process!
The 2017 Thomas C Chalmers Award will be given out at the Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town. The Summit replaces the 2017 Cochrane Colloquium. When submitting an abstract for the Global Evidence Summit, the author is able to tick a box to say they are eligible for this award.