Minutes of Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group meetings,

Dublin, Ireland, 22 and 26 October 2006

 

[These minutes were approved by the Steering Group Executive on 28 November 2006.]

 

Subject

Item no.

Allocation of funds to specific proposals

19; 34

Amsterdam, CCSG mid-year meeting in 2007

17; 37.4

Amsterdam, choosing appropriate topic for strategic discussion in

35

Annual General Meetings, agenda for

11

Author issues, and proposed survey of Cochrane

20.2; 33.6

Campbell Collaboration issues

15.5

Cash flow forecast

5.2

CCNet issues

33.4

CCSG review

4

CENTRAL Vision Group report and recommendations

19

Centre issues

33.5

Chief Executive Officer report

3.1

Chinese language, trial search and translation project for trials in the

27

Co-Chair of the Steering Group, nominations for

3.4

Cochrane Library, derivative products of The

37.1

Cochrane Library, presentation of reviews in RevMan 5 in The

30.2

Cochrane Library, publication of The

9

Cochrane Library, rationale for requiring authors to publish their review first in The

28

Cochrane Library Users’ Group (CLUG) report

32

Cochrane Opportunities Fund

8

Cochrane Review Group issues

33.1

Cochrane reviews, quality issues in

20

Colloquia, dates of future

17

Colloquia, invitations to host

17

Colloquium 2007 in Săo Paulo

14; 17

Colloquium Manager software

30.6

Colloquium Policy Advisory Group (CPAG) report

15.2

Consumer Network issues

33.4

Contract, timeline and process for renegotiation of Wiley

7

Co-ordinating Editors’ meeting

33.1.2

Copenhagen, invitation to host 2009 mid-year meetings in

18

CRG issues

33.1

Declarations of interest

2

Derivative products

37.1

Diagnostic test accuracy, publication arrangements for protocols and reviews of

20.1

Discretionary Fund expenditure

10.1

Entity representatives, verbal reports from, after meetings during the Colloquium

33

Environmental sustainability issues

 10.3; 11; 37.2

Feedback Management Advisory Group (FMAG) report

29

Field/Network issues

33.3

Financial position and cash flow forecast

5.2

Financial status of the Collaboration and of Cochrane entities

6

Freiburg Colloquium 2008

17

Funding Arbiter, report from the

15.4

Funding, mechanism for prioritisation projects

12

Funds, allocation of to specific proposals

19; 34

Handbook Advisory Group (HAG) report

16.3

Information Management System (IMS), status report on the

21

Information Management System Group (IMSG), timely decision-making in the

30.7

Information Management System Group (IMSG) report

30

Kenneth Warren Prize 2006

10.2

La Biblioteca Cochrane Plus, continuation of

26

Management Plan, Strategic Plan and

separate document

Membership of the Steering Group’s sub- and advisory groups

16.1

Methods Group issues

33.2

Mid-year CCSG meeting, Amsterdam, 2007

17; 37.4

Mid-year CCSG meeting, Copenhagen, 2009

18

Mid-year CCSG meeting, Vellore, 2008

17

Monitoring and Registration Group (MRG) report

15.1

Ombudsmen, report from the

15.3

Opportunities Fund

8

‘Parent’ database

30.5

Plain language summaries, summary of findings tables and

20.3

Prioritisation projects, mechanism for funding

12

Publication arrangements for Cochrane protocols and reviews of diagnostic test accuracy

20.1

Publication of The Cochrane Library (Wiley report)

9

Quality Advisory Group (QAG) report

23.1

Quality issues in Cochrane reviews

20

Rationale for requiring Cochrane authors to publish in The Cochrane Library first

28

Report and Financial Statements

5.1

Review Group Co-ordinators’ meeting

33.1.1

Review of the Collaboration, Strategic

13

Review of the Information Management System Group (IMSG)

30.1

Review of the Steering Group

4

Reviews of diagnostic test accuracy, publication arrangements for protocols and

20.1

RevMan 5, presentation of reviews in The Cochrane Library

30.2

RevMan 5, status of and release plans

22; 30.4

RGC issues

33.1.1

Săo Paulo Colloquium and CCSG meeting, 2007

14; 17

Spanish version of The Cochrane Library, continuation of

26

Spreadsheet of current financial position and cash flow forecast

5.2

Steering Group agenda, rationale for having reformatted

3.2

Steering Group five-year review

4

Steering Group meeting 2009, invitation to host in Copenhagen

18

Steering Group meeting, top priorities for

3.1

Steering Group meetings, dates of future

17

Steering Group members’ declarations of interest

2

Steering Group members, statements from and farewell to outgoing

24

Steering Group sub- and advisory groups, changes in membership of 

16.1

Steering Group, 2009 meeting of the

18

Strategic discussion in Amsterdam, appropriate topic for

35

Strategic Plan and Management Plan

separate document

Strategic review of the Collaboration

13

Summary of findings tables and plain language summaries

20.3

Survey of Cochrane authors

20.2

Topics lists for entities other than CRGs

30.3

Trading Company Directors, issues raised by

10.3

Treasurer’s report

5

Trial search and translation project for trials in Chinese language

27

Trials Search Co-ordinators’ meeting

33.1.3

TSC issues

33.1.3

Umbrella Reviews Working Group (URWG) report

31

Updating Working Group: pilot project for updating reviews

23.2

Vellore, CCSG mid-year meeting in 2008

17

Websites management

16.2

Wiley, timeline and process for renegotiation of contract

7

Wiley report (publication of The Cochrane Library)

9

 


 Minutes of

Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group meetings,

Dublin, Ireland

22 and 26 October 2006

 

[These minutes were approved by the Steering Group Executive on 28 November 2006.]

 

 

Present: Godwin Aja, Claire Allen (Deputy Administrator), Lorne Becker, Lisa Bero, Bob Boruch (The Campbell Collaboration), Mark Davies (Co-Chair, who chaired the first Steering Group meeting), Jon Deeks (Treasurer), Deborah Dixon (John Wiley & Sons, for items 9, 12, 19 and 20 only), Zbys Fedorowicz, Donna Gillies, Adrian Grant, Sally Green, Dymphna Hermans, Jini Hetherington (Administrator; minutes), Gail Higgins (for item 19 only), Monica Kjeldstrřm (Director, Collaboration Trading Company and Information Management System), Alessandro Liberati (for item 4 only), Joy Oliver, Jordi Pardo (for items 1 to 24 only), Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (John Wiley & Sons, for items 9, 12, 19, 20 and 29 only), Karen Robinson (for item 19 only), Nick Royle (Chief Executive Officer), Rob Scholten, Peter Tugwell, Janet Wale, Liz Waters, Narelle Willis, Hans van der Wouden and Diana Wyatt (Secretary).

 

 

Note: The underlined headings below indicate live links to the background papers for those agenda items. Only those papers designated ‘Open access’ are publicly available. If an item is not underlined, it is because the background paper has been designated ‘Restricted’, ‘Confidential’ or ‘Commercial-in-confidence’.


First Steering Group meeting - 22 October 2006

 

1.         Welcomes, introductions, apologies for absence, and approval of the agenda 
Mark welcomed everyone to the meeting, and introductions were made. Mark explained that Steff Lewis had recently resigned as Co-Chair, with effect from 25 October 2006, and was unable to attend this meeting. Formal thanks were recorded for all Steff’s hard work during her time on the Steering Group, particularly during the past year as Co-Chair. The agenda was approved, with one change: Janet asked for the item on CCNet (item 33.4) to be discussed under Goal 1 (with item 20.3 - Summary of Findings tables and plain language summaries). Mark thanked everyone for their voluntary work as members of the Steering Group, recognising the considerable time and effort put in by most of them. He congratulated Lorne for having been elected to take over from Mark as Co-Chair, with effect from 25 October 2006.

2.         Steering Group members’ declarations of interest 
Mark drew attention to the declarations of interest that had been circulated with the agenda material, and are appended to these minutes. (Steering Group members’ declarations are updated on a quarterly basis and published in The Cochrane Library.) Mark explained that Monica was attending the meeting to represent the Trading Company Directors as well as in her capacity as Director of the Information Management System. Jon reported that he had recently received a five-year grant from the Department of Health in England for reviews of diagnostic test accuracy. No additional declarations of interest were made by Steering Group members, members of Secretariat staff or Monica Kjeldstrřm.

3.         3.1       Introduction and top priorities for this meeting: Mark referred to the achievements of the past year, including the new interface of The Cochrane Library. The national provision for England had been renegotiated, and negotiations for Europe-wide national provision were also continuing. The royalty figures from Wiley had continued to improve and this opened up possibilities for funding prioritised initiatives. Mark emphasised the need for all Steering Group members to respond to e-mail requests for feedback on specific issues, and to read carefully all the background documents for meetings. If any members felt unable to participate fully in the work of the Steering Group, or a particular sub-group, they should discuss this with the Co-Chairs or the relevant sub-group Convenor. It was noted that the CEO had been asked not to present a formal report at this meeting because it was considered that there was insufficient time, and he would be having detailed input into several items on the agenda.

3.2       Rationale for having reformatted the Steering Group agenda:
Lorne explained that agenda items had been sorted according to their relevance to the four goals of the Strategic Plan. This was to
allow related items to be discussed together, and to make it easier to identify any gaps. The reasoning behind the ‘consent’ agenda items was to separate out the items that would normally be approved with little comment or were for information only, in order to allow more time for those items requiring discussion. Also, all agenda items with a financial component had been put on the agenda twice, so that towards the end of the meeting they could be considered together, after each project had been discussed on its individual merits.

3.3       The way the Steering Group works:
See item 3.1 above.

 

3.4       Nominations for Co-Chair of the Steering Group (see also item 16.1): A Co-Chair was needed to complete the remaining year of Steff Lewis’ two-year term. Adrian Grant had been nominated, and had accepted the nomination. Jordi chaired the discussion of this item, and asked Adrian to give his reasons for standing as Co-Chair. Adrian explained that the Collaboration was very precious to him, that it was an important time for the organisation, and that he felt he could make a worthwhile contribution. He said he would like to put his energies into implementing the recommendations of the recent review of the Steering Group. He explained that he would have more time to contribute to this role within the next few months, and felt it would be a great honour and privilege to do so. He then left the room. Peter suggested that if Adrian became Co-Chair, initially for one year, he should be allowed to fulfil this role for a second term if the Steering Group thought that was desirable, depending on the outcome of the Steering Group review; there was no disagreement with this, if Adrian was willing when the time came. His appointment as Co-Chair was unanimously approved, with effect from the Annual General Meeting on 25th October 2006. Adrian returned to the meeting and was thanked for his willingness to take on this role, and congratulated.

4.         Review of the Steering Group

           
4.1       Recommendations of the review:
The Steering Group discussed the findings and recommendations of the panel, chaired by Alessandro Liberati (Director of the Italian Cochrane Centre), which had recently completed the five-yearly review of the Steering Group. The panel’s main recommendations dealt with the role of the Steering Group in general; its role in improving the quality and relevance of Cochrane reviews; its role in securing funding and financial planning, and in ensuring effective communication; the composition of the Steering Group and entity representation; executive functions, including the role of the Secretariat and the Chief Executive Officer; the Steering Group’s relationships with external organisations (although this had not been addressed, due to shortage of time); and the need for and frequency of reviews of the Steering Group. Sally said that this review presented a great opportunity for change where appropriate, but that on some issues there had been quite a high rate of non-response or of “don’t knows”. There was agreement to putting the panel’s report onto the website and inviting people’s comments, to be fielded and collated by the panel to ensure ongoing independence from the Steering Group.

No clear recommendations had been made about the composition of the Steering Group, since entities had been more focussed on the issue of communication with their own representative on the Group. Skills in the Secretariat that might be lacking were the packaging and dissemination of information; also the ability to foster and motivate entities’ involvement in various activities of the Collaboration; also fund-raising and grant writing skills. The review panel had recommended that the Steering Group should be more proactive in establishing collaborative relationships with external organisations. Some of the issues addressed in the review should be considered as hypotheses needing further testing, rather than firm conclusions; it was agreed that it would be helpful for Alessandro to indicate which recommendations fit into which category. There had been support for continuing to conduct regular reviews of the Steering Group on a five-yearly basis. The issue of separation of micro-management from policy setting is already being addressed.

4.2       Terms of reference and conduct of the review:
Alessandro Liberati then joined the meeting (for items 4.2 and 4.3 only). He reminded everyone of the terms of reference of this review. He was pleased that the Steering Group were happy for the report to be made widely available. He clarified that input from the Chief Executive Officer had been taken after the report had been written, and suggested that the report needed several minor amendments before it was made public. Seventy-seven per cent of entities (over 200 people) had responded to the review questionnaire.

4.3       Implementation of the review panel’s recommendations:
Alessandro strongly recommended that an action plan be devised at the next Steering Group meeting in Amsterdam in April 2007, and widely disseminated during the Săo Paulo Colloquium in October 2007. Lorne, Mark and Nick agreed to meet with Alessandro before the Dublin Annual General Meeting, to discuss which were the most important points to highlight in his presentation at that meeting. They would ask him to clarify the intent of Recommendation 5, that a specific strategic action stream should be developed in collaboration with Cochrane entities, to secure the funding needed for long-term sustainability, and also to seek clarification about Recommendation 13, that formal and explicit mechanisms for prioritisation and decision-making processes about the use and allocation of resources should be set up, allowing the Collaboration’s members the opportunity to comment on and give input to the Steering Group’s proposals, since the Steering Group already had processes in place. One of the main recommendations contained in the report was that the Steering Group should take more central responsibility for quality of reviews. Thus, the proposed appointment of an editor-in-chief, arising from Recommendation 3 of the report, could be considered without delay, whereas other recommendations could take longer to address. Mark gave a formal vote of thanks to Alessandro, his colleagues and the members of the review panel for their hard work in conducting this review. Alessandro left the meeting at this point.

 

             4.4       Dissemination of the report on the review: Jini was asked to prompt Alessandro to circulate an updated version of the report to all entities as soon as possible after the Colloquium, inviting people to send their comments on the recommendations to him, in order to maintain the appropriate distance between the review panel and the subject of the review, i.e. the Steering Group. Jini should then arrange to make the report available on the website as well.
Action: Jini


4.5       Clarification of certain recommendations: The Steering Group accepted the broad recommendations of the report in principle, whilst agreeing that further consideration of the detail would be needed. Feedback should be sought from entities before deciding whether and how to implement each of the recommendations, and some key performance indicators should be identified. Recommendation 3, about how the role of the proposed editor-in-chief would relate to that of the Co-Chairs and the Secretariat staff, particularly the Chief Executive Officer, needed careful consideration (see item 35). Nick would prepare a discussion paper as to implementation of the recommendations, and would rely on the Steering Group and others to contribute actively to the more detailed contents of his paper. This item should be on the agenda of the Executive teleconference on 11 January 2007, and the review panel’s report should be discussed within advisory groups and with constituents in the meantime.
Action: Nick, Adrian, Diana

5.         Report from the Treasurer:

5.1       Report and Financial Statements
: The draft Report and Financial Statements had been circulated to all entities in advance of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and would be ratified at the AGM on 25 October 2006 and put on the website shortly thereafter. In the meantime, copies are available on request by e-mailing secretariat@cochrane.org. Jon reported that, due to the accounting and reporting recommendations of the UK Charities Commission (‘SORP 2005’) the figures in the Financial Statements for the financial year 2005-06 were difficult to interpret. Specifically, expenditure committed to future years is now shown in total against the first year of its approval. This appears to inflate the commitment in the first year, and in Financial Statements in future years will make it look as if there is no subsequent expenditure.

Action: Jini

5.2       Spreadsheet of current financial position and cash flow forecast:
Jon itemised the commitments which had not yet been included in the cash flow forecast that were for consideration at this meeting in the context of available funds. Mark stressed the importance of distinguishing between one-off and continuing funding. Nick spoke of the need for the Steering Group to be more proactive than reactive in future in approving new items of expenditure. He was asked to review the contingency buffer to take account of inflation. Jon explained that he would be showing graphs during the Annual General Meeting of the total annual sales and royalties from Wiley, the income rise over the year, and the split of how the funds had been spent between running costs and initiatives; also the proportion of funds being spent on the various initiatives as a proportion of the overall income of the Collaboration.
Action: Nick

 

            Post hoc note: This was Jon’s last Steering Group meeting as Treasurer, and Donna Gillies was taking over this responsibility from him at the Annual General Meeting on 25 October. Jon’s conscientious fulfilment of the duties of Treasurer had been much appreciated, especially by the Co-Chairs, the Trading Company Directors, the CEO and the Secretariat Administrator.
   

6.         Overview of financial status of the Collaboration and of Cochrane entities
This item was discussed after item 7. Rob spoke to this item, as Co-Convenor of the Monitoring and Registration Group (MRG). Nick had summarised the financial information that had been provided as part of the monitoring exercise, comparing it with last year’s figures, and showing that the funding coming into Cochrane entities overall continues to grow; however, some entities are experiencing financial and other difficulties. Rob said that twelve of the entities that had previously reported themselves to the MRG as being in financial difficulties were now in a healthier position. He said that the MRG was looking into ways of providing advice to entities, and Sally stressed the important role of Cochrane Centres in helping those entities that are experiencing difficulties. Janet suggested that members of the Steering Group also had an important supporting role to play. There was discussion about whether to explore providing bridging funding to entities in difficulties; this would be considered as part of the discussion paper that Nick had undertaken to prepare on implementation of the recommendations arising from the review of the Steering Group (see item 4 above).
Action: Nick

7.         Timeline and process for renegotiation of Wiley contract 

            Nick spoke to this item, which was discussed before item 6. The Steering Group agreed that seven of the eight objectives in the current publishing contract had been substantially or fully met, and that the eighth (translation) remained unfulfilled. In the light of this assessment, there was agreement to Nick exploring extending the Collaboration’s current publishing contract with Wiley. He asked Steering Group members to send him suggested items for inclusion in an extended contract. Jon raised the issue of whether the additional contracts with Cochrane entities for derivative products also require renewal at the same time. Nick explained that there is reference to these products in the contract between the Collaboration and Wiley, but that each has its own contract as well, with its own expiry date.
Action: Nick

8.         Cochrane Opportunities Fund
Jon had provided a detailed set of criteria for managing this Fund in his background paper for this meeting. Applications to this Fund, linked to the Strategic Plan, would be called for at the Annual General Meeting on 25 October, and submitted by the end of 2006; funding decisions would be made by the end of February 2007. Further details still needed to be worked out and would be disseminated in late November. Nick would draw up a ‘Request for Proposals’ (RFP) template for use when seeking proposals from entities (see also item 12, ‘Mechanism for funding Cochrane prioritisation projects’). The Steering Group would assess how this process was working at their next full meeting in Amsterdam in April 2007. It was agreed to include a consumer on the sub-group which would consider applications to this Fund. The Steering Group would first identify and disseminate a small number of high priority items from the Strategic Plan for which applications would receive favourable consideration.
Action: Jon, Nick, Lorne, Adrian

9.         Publication of The Cochrane Library  
This item was discussed after item 5, so that Deborah Dixon and Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (John Wiley & Sons) could attend to make their presentation. Deborah PG reported on the increase in usage statistics for The Cochrane Library. Full text downloads have grown by 63 per cent and abstract downloads by 45 per cent on the previous year. Pay-per-view hits, which are among the smallest portions of overall use, have shown the greatest percentage increase. The expected royalty forecast for the current calendar year is 1.1 million GBP, about a 40 per cent increase on the previous year. Increased sales of licences to institutions account for a large part of this big increase (mainly in the US and Asia). Deborah D expressed appreciation of the good relationship between the Collaboration and Wiley, and their continuing joint success. It was noted that the 2007 impact factor calculations would start in January 2007, and she proposed various ways of increasing the impact factor for Cochrane reviews in ISI. She stressed the importance of ‘Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews’ and the correct publication issue being included in the citation format of all new and substantially updated reviews as well as other citing journals from January 2007 onwards. Deborah D explained that the denominator used by ISI in determining the first CDSR impact factor was the sum of the number of new and substantially updated reviews in CDSR published in 2005 and 2006, and that this figure was 1126. The numerator will be the number of citations in 2007 to the papers counted in the denominator. This emphasised the scale of the task faced by the Collaboration in gaining a good impact factor, as the denominator was approximately two times the size of other high-impact journals. Deborah D also stressed the importance of urging authors to cite the versions of Cochrane reviews published in full in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews because citation of versions published in other journals would not count towards our impact factor. Deborah PG suggested that it might soon be time to revisit the issue of increasing the frequency of publication of Cochrane reviews, from the current quarterly cycle. She agreed to put together some advice on impact factor citation and calculations for CCInfo, Cochrane News and the Collaboration website. She highlighted that, to date, 871 institutions had signed up to ‘Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal’, and said she hoped that this journal model would be considered by other Cochrane entities.
Action: Deborah PG

10.       10.1     Discretionary Fund expenditure: A table of discretionary fund expenditure to date had been provided with the background materials for this meeting, for information only.
 

10.2     Kenneth Warren Prize 2006: A background document had been provided, giving the name of the author who would receive this year’s Kenneth Warren Prize, the title of the review, and the amount of funds remaining in the Kenneth Warren Prize account, for information only.

10.3     Issues raised by the Trading Company Directors: The Directors had provided a brief background document which needed no discussion. They had drawn attention in this document to the fact that the financial situation of the Collaboration looked healthy, and that the challenge was to see that this income continued to be put to good use in furtherance of the Charity’s objectives. They also said they believed that environmental sustainability issues had substantial implications for the Collaboration, and had agreed that this should be a standing item on future Trading Company Directors’ meeting agendas. Each meeting would therefore include an opportunity to consider the potential environmental impact of any decisions made during that meeting.

11.       Agenda for Annual General Meetings (AGMs)
The agenda for the AGMs of the charity and the trading company was approved, and the process of running those meetings was briefly discussed and agreed to. Jini was asked to ensure that environmental sustainability became a standing item on future Steering Group agendas. Adrian pointed out that webcasting some of the sessions of the Dublin Colloquium should provide some useful evidence for alternatives to meeting face to face in some circumstances.
Action: Jini

12.       Mechanism for funding Cochrane prioritisation projects

Deborah Dixon and Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (John Wiley & Sons) were present at the meeting for this item. There was discussion of the document that Lorne had provided on a mechanism for funding projects via a competitive call for proposals issued to all entities, and his recommendations were approved in principle. A maximum limit of 100,000 GBP was set, for approximately four or five projects. Liz, Lisa and Peter agreed to be members of a sub-group to consider applications to this Fund. Lorne and Adrian, as Co-Chairs, would suggest additional members.
Action: Liz, Lisa, Peter

 

13.       Strategic review of The Cochrane Collaboration
Nick explained that Jeremy Grimshaw, Director of the Canadian Cochrane Centre, had indicated that he would be willing to lead the strategic review of The Cochrane Collaboration, which the Steering Group had agreed to at its meeting in Khon Kaen in April 2006, and this was fully supported by the Steering Group. Jeremy would not be able to commence the strategic review before May 2007. He should separate out the aims of the strategic review from the recommendations made in the report of the recent five-yearly review of the Steering Group. A budget of 75,000 GBP was approved for this strategic review, for items such as administrative support, travel, and focus groups. Nick would ask Jeremy and his team to report on the results of this review to the Steering Group meeting during the Freiburg Colloquium in October 2008. In the meantime, Jeremy should provide regular reports to the Steering Group on the progress of the review. This should be a standing item on the agenda of future meetings of the Steering Group Executive.
Action: Nick, Adrian, Diana

14.       Săo Paulo Colloquium, 21-25 October 2007
The Steering Group discussed the plans for next year’s Colloquium, and Nick undertook to discuss those plans further with the Co-Convenors of the Colloquium Policy Advisory Group.
Action: Nick


15.       Reports to the Steering Group:

15.1     Monitoring and Registration Group (MRG):
As Co-Convenor of the MRG, Rob reported that members of entities were all doing a great job and working very hard. He said it was remarkable that members of Methods Groups were also doing very well despite a general lack of sufficient funding. There were no major general areas of concern. Sally and Lorne agreed to discuss separately the issues surrounding the absence of profession-based fields such as nursing care. There was discussion of the increase in the cost of provision of The Cochrane Library in South Africa, to be continued outside the meeting in the context of negotiations for renewing the contract with Wiley.
Action: Sally, Lorne, Nick

15.2     Colloquium Policy Advisory Group (CPAG): The revisions to the Colloquium sponsorship policy were approved, making explicit the circumstances under which all forms of sponsorship, whether from public or commercial sources, are permitted. Jordi was asked to convey the Steering Group’s approval of the revised Colloquium sponsorship policy to the CPAG, and Jini was asked to insert the revised policy into the Cochrane Manual. The CPAG should explore low-cost and environmentally sustainable alternatives such as participation via the web, holding Colloquia every two years instead of annually; regional meetings could perhaps replace Colloquia in alternate years. Lisa raised concerns, shared by many, that holding Colloquia less frequently could seriously decrease their impact and lose momentum. Lorne spoke about the potential for negative impacts on the work of the organisation by focussing too much on this one issue which is not a part of the Collaboration’s Strategic Plan. It was, however, noted that the Strategic Plan is not set in stone. The options for individual rather than organisational approaches, such as the purchase of carbon credits to offset the environmental damage due to air travel, should be considered. Jordi was asked to request the CPAG to list and consider the available options in its report to the Steering Group for their meeting in Amsterdam in April 2007.
Action: Jordi, Jini

15.3     The Ombudsmen: In response to a question from the Ombudsmen, the Steering Group acknowledged that conflict management does take place elsewhere than within the Ombudsman process, particularly within Cochrane Centres and the Secretariat. Mark agreed to encourage the Ombudsmen to investigate how much take-up there would be for a workshop on conflict management at next year’s Colloquium in Săo Paulo.
Action: Mark

15.4     The Funding Arbiter:
Lisa thanked Claire [Allen] for the support she had been providing to the Funding Arbitration Panel. The additional budget of approximately 3482 GBP in the current financial year was approved, to allow for completing the audit of The Cochrane Library.
Action: Lisa

15.5     Campbell Collaboration issues: Bob Boruch reported on the issues in common between The Cochrane Collaboration and The Campbell Collaboration. Phil Davies had recently been appointed Executive Director of The Campbell Collaboration. The Cochrane Collaboration reaffirmed its agreement in principle to the desirability of co-registration and co-publication of reviews with The Campbell Collaboration, assuming that obstacles related to issues of intellectual property rights (IPR) and co-publication could be worked out. Once the issues of IPR and The Campbell Collaboration’s publication arrangements had been resolved, The Campbell Collaboration would be invited to draw up a draft memorandum of understanding on co-registration and co-publication in order to move this discussion forward.
Action: Nick

16.       16.1     Changes in membership of the Steering Group’s sub- and advisory groups: The changes in membership of these groups had been agreed with individual Steering Group members before the meeting, and should now be reflected in the appendix to the ‘Structure, remit and membership of groups accountable to the Steering Group’ on the Collaboration website and on the appropriate mailing lists. It was agreed that there should be an election as soon as possible for a Co-ordinating Editor to replace Adrian in that capacity, now that he was about to replace Steff Lewis as Co-Chair (see item 3.4 above). This person would serve a term of approximately two and a half years on the Steering Group, depending on the date of their election, i.e. would step down at the Annual General Meeting in October 2009. This is so as to ensure continuity, since Peter Tugwell, the other Co-ordinating Editor representative on the Steering Group, is due to step down in October 2008.
Action: Claire

16.2     Websites management: The progress report provided by Dave Booker, Cochrane Web Team Manager, was noted; his hard work was appreciated. His recommendation was accepted, that the Steering Group take a decision on future web management funding for the years 2008 to 2010 at their meeting in Amsterdam in April 2007.

Action: Nick

16.3     Handbook Advisory Group (HAG):
Mark thanked Sally and Julian Higgins, the Co-Convenors, for their report, which was for information only and needed no discussion.

16.4     Strategic Plan and Management Plan:
The Steering Group had agreed in Khon Kaen in April 2006 that this document should be provided as background for all future Steering Group meetings. Nick had customised a special software program to track the progress that had been made towards achieving the goals of the Strategic Plan. He had demonstrated this software to most members of the Steering Group individually over the past few months, and would continue to do so and to keep it up to date.
Action: Nick

17.       Dates of future Steering Group meetings and Colloquia
The dates of the next four Steering Group meetings were noted: Amsterdam, 20-22 April 2007; Săo Paulo, 21 and 23 October 2007; Vellore, 11-13 April 2008; Freiburg, 3 and 6 or 7 October 2008. The Steering Group would consider any invitations to host the 2009 Colloquium at their meeting in Amsterdam in April 2007, following a call for proposals shortly from the Colloquium Policy Advisory Group (CPAG). The CPAG had recently devised a form for completion by any Centre or Centre Branch which is interested in issuing such an invitation (which Jini should make available on the Collaboration website at http://www.cochrane.org/colloquia/cpag/), and this would be included with the call for proposals.
Action: Jini

18.       Invitation to host the 2009 mid-year meetings in Copenhagen  
The invitation by Peter Gřtzsche, Director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, to host the mid-year meetings in Copenhagen in 2009 was gratefully accepted. Rob would let Peter know of this decision during the Colloquium. Peter should liaise with Jini about canvassing Steering Group members and  Directors of Cochrane Centres and Branches for suitable dates in late March or early April 2009.
Action: Rob, Jini


19.       CENTRAL Vision Group report and recommendations (see also item 34)

Deborah Dixon and Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (John Wiley & Sons) were present at the meeting for this item. Karen Robinson and Gail Higgins, members of the CENTRAL Vision Group (CVG), attended the meeting for this item only, which was discussed after item 10. Mark welcomed Karen and Gail to the meeting; Karen thanked Adrian Grant, Donna Gillies and Gerd Antes for their participation in the work of this Group. She explained the process that had been used to develop the remit of the Group, and then to gather information and canvass opinion throughout the Collaboration. Trials Search Co-ordinators (TSCs) had been surveyed, and external users of CENTRAL, and a number of people within and outside the Collaboration with different perspectives had been interviewed. The main recommendations that had arisen as the result of the CVG’s work were that the register should allow references to be organised around studies; all studies and references useful to people preparing Cochrane reviews should be included; the register could be accessible within the IMS, and should be managed by a project manager.

Interim measures to update CENTRAL were put forward and agreed. A liaison person needed to be identified; the timeline put forward by Wiley should be decided upon, and the process should be worked out that should be followed if a Cochrane Review Group (CRG) does not submit their specialised register, or submits it in an unacceptable format. Deborah PG reported that Wiley had carried out a technical assessment of the task and agreed to take it on as an additional investment. This interim measure would take effect for at least the next five issues of The Cochrane Library. The CVG recommended that the interim liaison person should be a TSC with substantial experience of the issues. Karen confirmed that other sorts of studies, such as studies of diagnostic test accuracy, could be included in the proposed centralised register, but there had been no consideration as to whether the diagnostic test accuracy register or the methodology studies register should be included. Rob read out an e-mail from a Centre staff member calling for further consultation with the Co-ordinating Editors and TSCs. A major concern of the CVG had been to maintain the high profile of the register. Mark thanked Karen and Gail for the enormous amount of work they had done as members of the CVG, for their report, and for coming to the meeting. He also thanked Deborah D and Deborah PG for joining the discussion, and for offering to implement the interim measures. These four people then left the meeting.

The resource implications were then considered (see also item 34). The interim measures as proposed were agreed to, together with a budget of 3000 GBP to support someone to work half a day a week in the interim in a liaison role between the Collaboration as a whole, the TSCs in particular, and the publishers. Gail Higgins’ offer to perform this liaison role was accepted. It was agreed that a central study-based register was the way to go, but that it should also be able to act as a trials register for CRGs and others not yet in a position to implement a study-based design, i.e. it should be reference-based as well, and that the register should be managed by a project manager. It was further agreed that as part of the implementation process the Steering Group would need to make a policy decision on whether submission of registers should be mandatory. Nick would produce a paper by the end of 2006, setting out the role, remit and accountability of the person charged with taking on the task of formulating and managing a more detailed plan as to how to implement the agreed recommendations from the CVG report. It was agreed that applications for the position of project manager should be called for early in 2007 so that someone could be appointed as soon as possible. The work program should be clearly linked to improving the quality of reviews, and should give high priority to the impact on the workload for entities, particularly TSCs.
Action: Nick

20.       Quality issues in Cochrane reviews
Deborah Dixon and Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (John Wiley & Sons) were present at the meeting for this item.

20.1     Publication arrangements for Cochrane protocols and reviews of diagnostic test accuracy: Jon explained the challenges of publishing this type of review. The Steering Group agreed to pursue the option offered by Wiley of a new ‘derivative’ journal, ‘Cochrane Diagnostic Reviews’, in which the reviews would be published at the same time as being published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The Steering Group agreed to the creation of an editorial board and to the working arrangement whereby the board would have to sign off Cochrane Diagnostic Reviews [and protocols]* jointly with the relevant CRG before they could be published in The Cochrane Library. The editorial board would be answerable to the Publishing Policy Group. Mark expressed thanks to Wiley for actively supporting this initiative.

Action: Jon

*Post hoc amendment approved at Steering Group meeting in São Paulo, October 2007

20.2     Survey of Cochrane authors: Donna reported that Heather Maxwell and Karen New of the Monitoring and Registration Group had prepared a draft survey for authors, to try to discover the kind of support they most needed from their primary entity. She sought support for the production of non-English versions of the survey, but this was not thought to be advisable because of the difficulties of back-translation and of satisfying everyone by providing translations into ‘all’ languages. There was approval in principle for this survey, bearing in mind that other people had undertaken similar surveys and that duplication of effort should be avoided as far as possible. It was agreed that CRGs should first be consulted about the advisability of contacting authors in this way. The questions should then be piloted. The possibility of only including a random sample of authors in the survey should be explored. Donna was asked to work with the MRG in conducting this survey, and was offered use of the Collaboration's online survey software to carry this out.
Action: Donna

20.3     ‘Summary of Findings’ tables and plain language summaries
This item was discussed in conjunction with agenda item 33.4, the report provided by Janet Wale on behalf of the Cochrane Consumer Network (CCNet). Janet explained the work that members of CCNet had been doing on providing draft plain language summaries for Cochrane reviews, and the fact that some Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) continued to prefer producing their own summaries. She drew attention to the fact that some of the summaries that had been prepared for CRGs had still not appeared in The Cochrane Library. Mark asked the CRG representatives to raise this issue at entity meetings and to report back to the Steering Group at its second meeting during the Colloquium; however, this had not been done, and should be followed up after the Colloquium.
Action: Donna, Dymphna, Hans, Narelle, Peter, Zbys
           
The Steering Group then considered a request for funding to support the production of Summary of Findings tables for 500 existing reviews as a way to get their implementation started. Mark explained that Andy Oxman, Paul Glasziou and others had done a great deal of work on devising Summary of Findings tables. Also, Lorne explained the intention of incorporating similar tables into umbrella reviews. Sally reported that advice on Summary of Findings tables would be included in the updated Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. It was pointed out that methodologists and the Handbook Advisory Group have yet to sign off on this, and that there has been limited input to date from authors and CRG editorial teams. Deborah PG explained that Wiley had offered to mount some usability testing of these tables, and she was encouraged to follow this up with Andy, Paul and colleagues. The Steering Group decided against funding the proposal in its current format, and recommended conducting an assessment and evaluation to include the tables’ acceptability, methodology and usability among target groups (end users), before being convinced that the format of these tables as presented in this paper is appropriate for inclusion in The Cochrane Library.
Action: Sally, Jon

 

Items 21, 22 and 23 were discussed at the second Steering Group meeting.

24.       Statements from, and farewell to, outgoing Steering Group members

            Jordi said that he was leaving the Steering Group after four years with mixed emotions. He had found the work extremely interesting and had learnt a great deal. Mark said he was also leaving the Steering Group with mixed emotions. He had found being Co-Chair a huge challenge, especially when trying to reconcile diametrically [utterly] opposed views on many issues. The Steering Group had achieved a lot in the last few years, and should be justifiably proud of its accomplishments. He thought the organisation was becoming more mature and that there were some excellent proposals for change in the pipeline. In particular, he re-emphasised his belief in the value of abridged print versions of Cochrane reviews. Mark thanked everyone on the Steering Group and in the Secretariat for their support, especially Jim Neilson and Steff Lewis, who had been his Co-Chairs during his term of office.




Second Steering Group meeting - 26 October 2006

 

Present: Godwin Aja, Claire Allen (Deputy Administrator), Lorne Becker (Co-Chair; chaired the second Steering Group meeting), Lisa Bero, Jon Deeks, Zbys Fedorowicz, Donna Gillies (Treasurer), Adrian Grant (Co-Chair), Sally Green, Dymphna Hermans, Jini Hetherington (Administrator; minutes), Monica Kjeldstrřm (Director, Collaboration Trading Company and Information Management System), Julia Littell (The Campbell Collaboration), Joy Oliver, Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (John Wiley and Sons, for item 29 only), Nick Royle (Chief Executive Officer), Rob Scholten, Peter Tugwell, Janet Wale, Liz Waters, Narelle Willis, Hans van der Wouden and Diana Wyatt (Secretary).

 

25.       Welcome to Adrian Grant and Joy Oliver
Lorne’s appointment as Co-Chair had been ratified at the Annual General Meeting on 25 October 2006. His first act as Co-Chair was to welcome Adrian Grant, also new to the role of Co-Chair, who had replaced Steff Lewis, also at the Annual General Meeting. Lorne also welcomed Joy to her first Steering Group meeting as Centre representative. He introduced Julia Littell, attending the second Steering Group meeting on behalf of The Campbell Collaboration in place of Bob Boruch.

 

21.       Status report on the Information Management System (IMS)
In her capacity as Director of the IMS, Monica had provided a detailed progress report on the IMS, which was for information and needed no discussion.

22.       Status of RevMan 5 and release plans

Monica had provided a status report on the proposed release plans for RevMan 5, and the Steering Group had endorsed the proposal to release RevMan 5 over three module submissions (see item 30.4).

 

23.       23.1     Quality Advisory Group (QAG): Lorne thanked Sally and Harriet MacLehose, the Co-Convenors of the QAG, for their report, which was for information and needed no discussion.

23.2     Updating Working Group (UWG): Rob’s report as Convenor of the UWG on the pilot project for updating reviews was appreciated. He explained that since the UWG was temporary, it was now a sub-group of the QAG, and would report to the Steering Group on its activities via the QAG in future. Approval was given to increase the Group’s budget by 600 GBP in order to hold several additional teleconferences.
Action: Rob

24.       Statements from, and farewell to, outgoing Steering Group members
See minutes of first Steering Group meeting, above.

25.       Welcome to Adrian Grant and Joy Oliver
See initial minute at start of second Steering Group meeting, above.

26.              Continuation of La Biblioteca Cochrane Plus
Xavier Bonfill, Director of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre (IbCC), had requested that the Steering Group allocate the income produced by La Biblioteca Cochrane Plus in 2006 and 2007 (30,000 Euros per year) back to the IbCC to support the continued translation of Cochrane reviews into Spanish. Nick had discussed this request with Xavier, and had suggested that instead the IbCC could take on a greater role in translation since they already had the software and the expertise to do this. He had also had a preliminary discussion with Wiley, who recognised this as the major area of their initial contract which they had not yet fulfilled. Nick strongly recommended supporting those who already had extensive experience in the area of translation. Although the proposal referred to the royalty revenue accruing to The Cochrane Collaboration from the Spanish national provision as a result of this translation work, the Steering Group agreed that funding to entities in specific countries should not be linked to income earned from those countries, as this would severely restrict the Collaboration’s ability to assist entities in countries where it was less well-established. Sally’s suggestion was agreed to, of calling for a much more detailed budget, budget rationale, timelines and deliverables, with strong support from the Steering Group. However, she asked that translation into languages other than Spanish be tendered for, as other areas of the Collaboration also have experience and expertise in the area of translation. Janet asked to have input into these discussions on behalf of the Consumer Network. It was agreed to provide bridging funding for this activity for two years only, with the above requirements met, and that the broader issue of translation of Cochrane products should be on the agenda of the Steering Group meeting in Amsterdam in April 2007.

Action: Nick, Jini

27.       Trial search and translation project for trials in the Chinese language
The Steering Group had been asked to approve the establishment of a Chinese language randomised trial database, with English language translation of titles and abstracts of trials, and to provide funding of 25,000 GBP per year for two years to support this. There was broad agreement that translation of abstracts from Chinese was important and would make these trials more available for inclusion in Cochrane reviews. However, a number of concerns were raised about the possibility that this project could result in the inclusion in CENTRAL of some studies which were incorrectly described as trials. The label ‘randomized trial’ is sometimes inappropriately used in abstracts, so it was suggested that assessment of each paper by a Chinese speaker with the requisite expertise might preclude the necessity to translate its abstract. It was suggested that a brief PICO (Patients, Interventions, Comparisons, Outcomes) analysis of each trial might be more helpful than a translation, since abstracts often do not contain this critical information. Either of these options would require work to be done by scientists rather than translators. Lorne noted that not all abstracts translated as part of this project would necessarily be used in Cochrane reviews, and suggested that translating a larger number of abstracts, as suggested in the proposal, with more detailed assessment at the time a review was in process, could be a more efficient use of resources. It was agreed to approve the project in principle, and that Lorne would seek answers to the various questions that had been raised before a contract for the work was developed.
Action: Lorne

28.       Rationale for requiring authors to publish their review in The Cochrane Library first
Lorne explained that this rationale had been generated by the Publishing Policy Group (PPG) in response to requests from members of some CRG editorial bases for a document to support the use of the revised Title Registration Form. Reactions from members of the Collaboration to the rationale as proposed had been mixed, and several people had raised serious concerns about the wording and contents of some elements of it. It was therefore agreed that, although the long-established policy that discourages authors from publishing elsewhere before the version for publication in The Cochrane Library is ready would remain unchanged, the rationale should be withdrawn from the Cochrane Manual (section 2.2.4), and any other places where it exists. The PPG was asked to follow this up. Steering Group members were reminded that the rationale had originally been produced as part of an initiative to assist entities that had experienced difficulties with authors accepting support to produce their review and then declining to publish in The Cochrane Library. Lorne undertook to advise all entities of this.
Action: Jini, Lorne

29.       Feedback Management Advisory Group (FMAG)

Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (John Wiley & Sons) attended the meeting for this item. Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, the Convenor of the FMAG, had asked the Steering Group in her background paper to approve the adoption of a single, ‘formal feedback’ system, in which comments received editorial review by Feedback Editors and/or their Review Group Co-ordinators (RGCs), in consonance with accepted guidelines. The current ‘rapid response’ system of posting online comments without editorial review should cease. It was agreed to proceed with the recommendations as outlined in the background paper. Lisa would ask Sherri to communicate this to entities within the next month, and to send the necessary documentation to Jini with which to update the Cochrane Manual. The FMAG would develop strategies to increase the use of Feedback for subsequent review by the Steering Group, and would work with Wiley to enhance the clarity, visibility and accessibility of Feedback by March 2007. The FMAG would also work with the IMS to enhance the usefulness to Feedback Editors and RGCs of a feedback management system, by the end of 2007. Lisa agreed to discuss with Sherri the appointment of a Co-Convenor for the FMAG.
Action: Lisa

30.       Information Management System Group (IMSG)

30.1     Proposed review of the IMSG:
As Convenor of the IMSG, Mike Clarke had asked in his report to the Steering Group what the timeframe was for the CEO to review the remit and membership of the IMSG. Nick explained that his plans to do this, which had originally been delayed at the IMSG’s request until after the roll-out of Archie had been completed, had now been overtaken by the decision to undertake a strategic review of the Collaboration.

30.2     Presentation of RevMan 5 reviews in The Cochrane Library: Lorne agreed to raise with the Publishing Policy Group (PPG) in its next teleconference on 7 December 2006 the issue of how Cochrane reviews prepared in RevMan 5 should be displayed in The Cochrane Library. He also agreed to represent the PPG formally in the regular meetings between the IMS Development Team and Wiley, in particular to ratify or make decisions about small design interface functionality in a timely manner (see also item 30.7).
Action: Lorne, Claire

30.3     Topics lists for entities other than CRGs: Lorne agreed to raise with the Publishing Policy Group (PPG) in its next teleconference on 7 December 2006 the issue of whether it would be permissible for entities and others apart from CRGs to make use of the functions being developed in ‘Archie’ for Fields/Networks to create their own topics lists containing tagged Cochrane reviews.
Action: Lorne, Claire

30.4     Release of RevMan 5: The Steering Group had agreed (see item 22) that the release and use of RevMan 5 should be staged over three issues of The Cochrane Library, such that for Issue A, RevMan 5 could be used for submission, for Issue B it should be used, and for Issue C it must be used. This process should be kept under assessment during this period, in case the “must be used” stage had to be deferred. During the transition, the alternative to submitting reviews using RevMan 5 would be to continue doing so using RevMan 4. Monica said that the interface to RevMan 5 could be translated into any language, for navigational purposes. The Steering Group agreed that this should be a matter for the IMS Development Team, and should include consultation with people in non-English language speaking countries, and consideration of any likely impact on resultant reviews. Sally agreed to work with Monica in consulting the HAG and Cochrane Centres to inform this decision.
Action: Monica, Sally

30.5     ‘Parent’ database: The Steering Group agreed to the IMS Development Team creating a database containing the contents of all published Cochrane protocols and reviews, using the data contained in Archie. This database should then be made available on a password-protected website for research and administrative purposes, to minimise the work of the IMS Development Team in having to respond to requests for data from it. It was also agreed that approval of requests to gather and use these data would continue to need the approval of the Steering Group Executive.
Action: Monica

30.6     ‘Colloquium Manager’: A temporary sub-group of the Colloquium Policy Advisory Group (CPAG) had recently taken advice from Dave Booker and colleagues at the German Cochrane Centre, and as a result this sub-group recommended to the Steering Group that the ‘Colloquium Manager’ software should be abandoned in favour of off-the-shelf software for managing future Colloquia. This was approved, and should be communicated to the Convenors of the CPAG.
Action: Nick

30.7     Timely decision-making: The IMSG, the IMS Development Team and Wiley had been encountering increasing difficulties because of an apparent lack of ability to make quick decisions within the Collaboration (for example, agreeing which dates should be recorded for Cochrane reviews, and where they should be displayed in The Cochrane Library), due partly to the complex nature of the Collaboration. The IMSG therefore suggested that timely decision-making and the prompt communication of these decisions might require a new structure, involving the core staff of the Collaboration and its officers, with individuals identified who have the authority to take and communicate decisions more quickly than is currently possible. This had already been highlighted in the recent report of the five-yearly review of the Steering Group, and it had been agreed in principle to address this particular need.
Post hoc note: As Convenor of the PPG, Lorne later undertook to participate in the regular meetings between the IMS Development Team and Wiley staff (see also item 30.2).
Action: Lorne

31.       Umbrella Reviews Working Group (URWG)

The URWG was asked to work with Wiley on usability testing of umbrella reviews. Sally reported that the Handbook Advisory Group (HAG), of which all Methods Group Convenors are members, would be giving their feedback on these reviews.
Action: Lorne, Sally

32.       Cochrane Library Users’ Group (CLUG) 

            Lorne thanked Emma Irvin, Convenor of the CLUG, for her report, which was for information only and needed no discussion.

 

33.       Verbal reports from entity representatives after entity meetings during the Colloquium:

33.1     Cochrane Review Group issues:

33.1.1  Review Group Co-ordinators’ (RGCs’) meeting: Narelle reported RGCs’ concerns about updating reviews; they were looking forward to seeing new guidelines. She said that general training for RGCs was not given in a systematic way, so a small working group of RGCs had been established to develop some induction materials, possibly leading to the creation of an ‘RGC Procedures’ manual. Concerns had been expressed about the increased editorial burden on CRGs, especially with the advent of diagnostic test reviews, umbrella reviews, and Summary of Findings tables.

33.1.2  Co-ordinating Editors’ meeting: Peter reported that this had been very well attended, and that there had been considerable enthusiasm for moving forward on the issues raised during the mid-year Steering Group meeting in Khon Kaen in April 2006. Subsequent discussions in Dublin had elaborated on the proposal to establish an editorial board for The Cochrane Library. The aims and roles of an editorial board could include monitoring the quality of reviews, assessing adherence to standards, and indicating where remedial action would be taken; developing guidance on evidence-based, best practice models for review production and co-ordination; and developing and implementing effective and efficient ways of advising, supporting and mentoring authors to complete their reviews. How such a board might be organised, its membership and job descriptions for its members would need to be carefully worked out, as would its relationship with other Cochrane entities, and members of CRG editorial bases. Consultation would be needed with the Quality Advisory Group, the Handbook Advisory Group, the Monitoring and Registration Group, the Steering Group, the Publishing Policy Group and others. The Co-ordinating Editors’ executive would be asking the Steering Group for core funds to meet in Amsterdam in April 2007, in order to refine these ideas. Adrian reinforced what Peter had said, in that there had been clear agreement among the Co-ordinating Editors to bring about some sort of corporate arrangement in terms of an editorial board and/or editor-in-chief.
Jon and Sally both expressed some concerns that, as no paper had been brought to this meeting, the Steering Group had not yet seen details of possible proposals nor had the opportunity to discuss them. It was suggested that the proposals should be discussed in the context of quality in general at the next Steering Group meeting in Amsterdam, with input from all relevant parties. Adrian had encouraged the Co-ordinating Editors to provide several options for funding their proposals. He strongly recommended that the Steering Group Executive should consider this issue in their teleconference on 28 November 2006, in order to keep the momentum going, and to enable a background paper to be ready for discussion in April 2007. Adrian and Peter undertook to work together on packaging the discussion as a follow-up to the recommendations contained in the report of the recent review of the Steering Group. It was suggested that this be one of the topics for the strategic discussion in Amsterdam. Multiple papers should be invited for that meeting.
Action: Adrian, Peter

33.1.3  Trials Search Co-ordinators’ (TSCs’) meeting: Dymphna reported the disappointment of some TSCs who felt that they had not been sufficiently consulted about the recommendations of the Central Vision Group’s report on CENTRAL, although they did find the recommendations quite acceptable. Only one TSC was currently included in the consultation plan, and they felt that this was inadequate. They would like to see the proposed project manager of the central register undertake a thorough comparison of reference-based versus study-based registers, and the difference it would make to the quality of reviews. The TSCs had undertaken to provide feedback to the CVG by 1 December 2006.
Action: Dymphna

Zbys left the meeting at this point.

33.2     Methods Groups’ meeting: Jon reported that the Adverse Events Methods Group was about to submit an application for registration with the Collaboration, having held an exploratory meeting during the Colloquium. The Statistical Methods Group (SMG) had expressed concerns with the content and structure of the balance sheets (‘Summary of Findings’ tables) presented during a plenary session at the Colloquium, and requested that the Steering Group ensure that they have the approval of the SMG before being implemented. As it is a core function to hold Methods Group workshops during Colloquia, two Methods Groups had expressed discontent that their standard training workshop proposals had been rejected for this Colloquium, which had also prevented members being able to obtain funding to travel to the conference; this had been referred to the Colloquium Policy Advisory Group. Jon reported that the Methods Group Convenors were delighted that the Co-ordinating Editors were focussing on the quality of reviews, and were keen to contribute to those discussions. Jon was asked to seek more feedback from Methods Groups about the ‘Summary of Findings’ tables, and report back to the Steering Group Executive.
Action: Jon

33.3     Fields’/Networks’ meeting: Liz reported on the positive energy among members of Fields and Networks at this year’s Colloquium. There had been discussion of renaming some of the Fields, and such requests would be put to the Monitoring and Registration Group for approval.

33.4     Consumer Network meeting: Janet reported that the Consumer Network had now been registered officially with the Collaboration as a Field, and now had the core functions of Fields. The structure had been consolidated, and the aim was to work towards ensuring consumer participation in all Cochrane Review Groups. (See also the discussion of plain language summaries at item 20.3 above.)

33.5.1  Centre Directors’ meeting: Sally reported that conflict of interest disclosures had been discussed at this meeting. The Centre Directors had agreed that Centre and Branch Directors should make regular conflict of interest disclosures in their modules in The Cochrane Library, but that administrative staff need not do so. The Directors had asked whether the Colloquium sponsorship policy would apply to regional Cochrane contributors’ meetings as well. Sally was asked to provide a request to the Executive so that these suggestions could be discussed and implemented.
Action: Sally


33.5.2  Centre staff meeting: Joy said a strong need for training of Centre staff in the use of the Information Management System had been identified at this meeting. Standardisation of Centre modules had also been identified as a priority: once the pilot project to standardise Methods Groups’ modules had been completed, the working group responsible for this (Nancy Owens, assisted by Jini Hetherington, Monica Kjeldstrřm and Laura Mellor) would be turning their attention to the standardisation of other non-CRG modules, if the Steering Group approved them doing so. Diana would put these two issues onto the agenda of the next Executive teleconference for discussion.
Action: Diana

33.6     Author issues: Narelle suggested that the Author and the two ‘at large’ CRG representatives on the Steering Group should be included in all CRG representative discussions in future, and this was agreed to. Lisa reported that the Centre Directors had provided helpful feedback about the proposed survey of Cochrane authors, which she would pass on to Donna.
Action: Lisa

34.       Allocation of funds to specific proposals (see also item 19)
This item was discussed after item 27. Nick had produced for his own purposes a cash flow forecast modelling the year by year financial implications of approval of all the requests for funding on this agenda, and this was made available at the meeting. Jon noted that, although relatively conservative assumptions had been used, the Collaboration’s bank balance would actually increase in 2006, and would remain above the Steering Group’s agreed reserve of 200,000 GBP per year beyond 2010. When publicising the funds approved during this meeting for various projects, it was agreed to state the particular reasons why each of them had been approved. It was also agreed that the Steering Group needs to take a more strategic and less reactive stance in planning the Collaboration’s expenditure. Lorne pointed out that the majority of funding projected on the spreadsheet was directed to initiatives with high strategic importance, including Cochrane prioritisation projects, CENTRAL, the recommendations of the Steering Group review, and a strategic review of the Collaboration as a whole. It was reiterated that the criteria for applying to the Cochrane Opportunities Fund should clearly state that applications need to relate to the goals of the Strategic Plan (see item 8 above). The Co-Chairs undertook to provide a brief bulletin to the Steering Group as soon as practical after this meeting, so that entity representatives could refer to the main decisions that had been taken, when communicating with their constituents.
Action: Adrian, Lorne

With regard to the request for funds for CENTRAL (item 19), it was reaffirmed that an interim arrangement had been agreed to at the earlier meeting of the Steering Group, of appointing an interim liaison person to see through the implementation of the interim measures, and that the amounts of funding in the spreadsheet were only estimates. Further Steering Group decisions about funding for this project would be based on Nick’s paper on the implementation of the CVG’s recommendations, which would include the role, remit and accountability of the person charged with taking on the task of formulating a more detailed plan as to how the Collaboration should move forward on this. Lorne reiterated that the earlier Steering Group decision had been to authorise a flexible design for the register that would allow individual CRGs to use it as a purely reference-based register, a fully study-based register, or a combination of the two. This design would allow individual CRGs that wished to set up or transfer to a fully study-based register to do so at their own pace. Dymphna noted that such a transition would have significant resource implications that should be addressed as part of the implementation plan for CENTRAL.
Action: Nick

Adrian left the meeting at this point.

35.       Choosing the appropriate topics for strategic discussion in Amsterdam

            It was agreed that the agenda for the strategic discussion at the next Steering Group meeting in Amsterdam in April 2007 should include a detailed proposal for an editor-in-chief and an editorial board; implementation of the recommendations from the Steering Group review (although this item might be more relevant to the Steering Group and of less interest to Centre Directors and Co-ordinating Editors); and the Collaboration-wide strategic review. The Co-Chairs and the CEO would work out a plan for this and consult with the Steering Group in due course.
Action: Adrian, Lorne, Nick

 

36.       Spreadsheet of Steering Group members’ outstanding action items
Lorne reminded everyone to let Diana know as soon as they had completed any of their action items, so that she could update the spreadsheet.
Action: Everyone


37.       Any other business:


37.1     Derivative products: In response to a question about derivative products, Nick reminded the Steering Group that members of the Collaboration are required to give Wiley first refusal for publishing a product derived from Cochrane reviews. He undertook to ask Deborah PG to provide a definition of a derivative product and a list of the current derivative products to include in the Cochrane Manual.
Action: Nick, Jini
 

37.2     Environmental sustainability issues: It was agreed that Steering Group meeting agendas should in future include a standing item on environmental sustainability, and that decisions made during meetings should be reviewed at each meeting to ensure that their environmental impact is balanced within the context of the Collaboration’s Strategic Plan. In his new role as Co-Convenor of the CPAG, Jordi was asked to encourage the organisers of the Săo Paulo Colloquium to consider recycling options, as had been done at this year’s Colloquium. As Adrian had already pointed out, Jon said that if there was to be an evaluation of the webcasting of the plenary sessions during this Colloquium, this could inform those arranging other meetings between people in different locations.
Action: Jini, Jordi

37.3     Steering Group meetings:
Nick reported that he would be distributing an online survey to the Steering Group after the Colloquium, in order to obtain feedback about how its meetings are conducted, and to improve processes.
Action: Nick

37.4     Amsterdam mid-year meetings in April 2007: Rob drew attention to the fact that a flower festival (Keukenhof) is taking place in Amsterdam in April 2007, and encouraged Steering Group members to book their hotel accommodation as soon as possible after he had circulated the contact details of suitable hotels near the location of the Steering Group’s and Centre Directors’ meetings.
Action: Rob

38.       Thanks to the Colloquium hosts and others

            Lorne expressed thanks to the Dublin Colloquium hosts for organising such an excellent and enjoyable conference; he would write and thank Mike Clarke and his colleagues at the UK Cochrane Centre. Lorne also thanked the staff of the Secretariat for putting together the agenda materials for this meeting, and Nick thanked Jini for taking the minutes.
Action: Lorne

 


Declarations of interest of Steering Group members

The CCSG is the governing body of The Cochrane Collaboration, i.e. the board of trustees of the registered charity. Its members are elected by the overall membership of The Cochrane Collaboration for three years, with annual rotation of a proportion of its members. A conflict of interest exists when a secondary interest (e.g. personal financial gain) can influence, or have the appearance of influencing, judgments regarding the primary interest (e.g. service on the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group). Steering Group members are asked to disclose all relationships with commercial organisations that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest. The term 'related organisation' in the questions below means any organisation related to health care or medical research. These declarations of interest are updated quarterly.

 

Godwin Aja, Consumer Network Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Publishing Policy Group; Steering Group representative, Cochrane Library Users' Group; Author, Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Review Group; Member, Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group; Member, Health Promotion and Public Health Field:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? 
I serve as associate professor, health promotion and education, at Babcock University, Nigeria. 

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.  

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Lorne Becker, Incoming Co-Chair, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group, Member, Executive Group, and incoming Convenor, Publishing Policy Group; Co-ordinator, Primary Health Care Field; Author and Peer Referee, Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Review Group; Author, Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Review Group; Member, Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Review Group, and Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Review Group:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation?
Yes: Honorarium from Thompson Micromedex for serving on the editorial board of their DiseaseDex publication. This relationship ended on 1 July 2006.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? 
Yes: Small gifts from the Welch Allyn Corporation and the Dutch Dairy Council.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation?  No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Lisa Bero, Centre Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Publishing Policy Group; Steering Group representative, Feedback Management Advisory Group; Funding Arbiter; Member, Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Review Group:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research?
Yes: In the past five years, I have received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization, California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (research money derived from the tax on cigarettes), and Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute, National Science Foundation.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation?
Yes: I have received consulting fees from the University of Colorado for conducting workshops in evidence-based medicine, and the Academy for Educational Development for peer reviewing documents.  I receive an annual consulting fee from British Medical Journal Publishing for serving as a senior editor for Tobacco Control. 

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation?
Yes: I have accepted honoraria from the Association of Medical Writers and Dartmouth University for talks on reporting of scientific research in the lay press, the World Health Organization and Pomona University (European Union Center) for talks on public commentary on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Kaiser Permanente for talks on (a) evaluating the quality of research and (b) tobacco industry manipulation of research, the World Conference on Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics for a talk on managing financial conflicts of interest in clinical trials, and the Brooklyn Law School for a talk and paper on systematic reviews. 

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No. Since 1991, I have been a full-time faculty employee of the University of California, San Francisco

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation?
Yes: I receive about $50 US per year in royalty fees from the University of California Press for the publication of The Cigarette Papers. 

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.

Mark Davies, Outgoing Co-Chair, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group, Convenor, Publishing Policy Group, and Member, Executive Group; Author, Cochrane Anaesthesia, Neonatal and Skin Review Groups; Peer Reviewer, Cochrane Anaesthesia Review Group:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation?
Yes: (a) I am a consultant neonatologist: part of my income is derived from private practice in neonatology; (b) I have acted as a consultant to BMJ Books reviewing manuscripts and proposals; but no other for-profit companies; (c) In 2003 I co-edited and published 'Pocket notes on neonatology' (ISBN 0-9750756-0-8) when the printing costs were partially met by grants from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Pty Ltd and Abbott Australasia Pty Ltd.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)?  No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Jon Deeks, Methods Group Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Executive Group; Co-Convenor, Statistical Methods Group, Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy Reviews Working Group; Steering Group representative, Handbook Advisory Group; Member, Quality Advisory Group, RevMan Advisory Group, Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group, Non-Randomised Studies Methods Group, Reporting Bias Methods Group:

A.  Financial interests
In the last five years, have you:
1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research?
Yes: I received funding from 2001 to 2003 to employ a research fellow from Pfizer Ltd. My salary is part funded by a UK DOH NCC RCD Senior Research Fellowship in Evidence Synthesis, the rest being paid by the University of Birmingham. I have received funding from Cochrane Collaboration core funds to co-ordinate the initiative to develop Cochrane Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy. From 2007 to 2012 I will be in receipt of a grant from the UK NHS Health Technology Assessment Programme to support the implementation of systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy within The Cochrane Collaboration. I have received grants for both methodological and clinical projects from the UK NHS Research Methodology Programme, the UK NHS Health Technology Assessment Programme, and the UK Medical Research Council. 

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation?
Yes: I received payment from the BMJ for reviewing and attending committees since 2000. I was paid consultancy fees by Pfizer Ltd for statistical advice in 2001 and 2002.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation?
Yes: I received an honorarium from NICE for lecturing in 2004, from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (University of Oxford) in 2006, and a book from Wiley for reviewing a journal proposal.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation?
Yes: my unit has received royalty payments from the BMJ for reprint sales.

B. Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Zbigniew FedorowiczRepresentative of members of Cochrane Review Groups, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Director, Bahrain Branch of the UK Cochrane Centre; Member, Monitoring and Registration Group; Member, Information Management System Group; Member, Health Related Quality of Life Methods Group; Member and Peer Referee, Cochrane Oral Health Review Group; Member, Cochrane Eyes and Vision Review Group; and Member, Health Promotion and Public Health Field:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.

Donna Gillies, Author Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Treasurer; Member, Executive Group; Steering Group representative, Handbook Advisory Group; Author, Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections, Anaesthesia, Heart, Musculoskeletal, Neonatal, Schizophrenia, and Wounds Review Groups; Peer Reviewer, Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis, and Anaesthesia Review Groups:

A. Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? 
Yes: I have received small grants funding from the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation?  No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation?  
I have received honoraria as a reviewer for the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No. 

B. Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Adrian Grant, Incoming Co-Chair, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; incoming Convenor, Executive Group, and Member, Publishing Policy Group; Co-ordinating Editor liaison with the Monitoring and Registration Group; Co-ordinating Editor, Cochrane Incontinence Review Group; Author, Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth, Upper Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Diseases, and Renal Review Groups; Consumer Reviewer, Cochrane Neuromuscular Diseases Review Group:

A. Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? 
Yes: UK NHS R&D Health Technology Assessment Programme; UK Medical Research Council; BUPA Foundation; UK NHS R&D Service Delivery and Organisation Programme; Scottish Higher Education Funding Council; UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.  I have received no research funding from commercial organisations.  However, SHIRE Pharmaceuticals and NYCOMED supplied, free of charge, vitamin D, calcium and placebo tablets for an MRC-funded clinical trial in the UK of which I was the chief investigator.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? 
Yes: a single payment from Ethicon Endosurgery for attendance at a meeting to discuss possible research collaboration not pursued.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B. Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.

Sally Green, Centre Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Executive Group; Director, Australasian Cochrane Centre; Convenor, Quality Advisory Group and Handbook Advisory Group; Author, Cochrane Musculoskeletal Review Group:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? 
All my research is funded through competitive research grants. I have no commercial research contracts. My current grants are from The Australian Department of Health and Ageing, The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, The Australian Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, ANZ Bank Trustees, Andrology Australia, and The National Heart Foundation of Australia.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation?  
I act as a consultant to the Australian government.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation?
Yes: I am the sole director of a private physiotherapy practice in Melbourne, Australia.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.

Dymphna Hermans, Trials Search Co-ordinator Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Publishing Policy Group; Steering Group representative, Information Management System Group; Trials Search Co-ordinator, Review Group Co-ordinator and Author, Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group; Member, RevMan Advisory Group; Member, Editorial Management Advisory Group:  

A. Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research: No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B. Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No. 

Joy Oliver, Incoming Centre Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group, Member, Monitoring and Registration Group, and Steering Group representative, Colloquium Policy Advisory Group; Member, South African Cochrane Centre; Assistant Review Group Co-ordinator, HIV/AIDS Group:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Jordi Pardo Pardo, Outgoing Centre Staff Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group, and Member, Monitoring and Registration Group; incoming Co-Convenor, Colloquium Policy Advisory Group; Administrator, Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre; Acting Review Group Co-ordinator, Cochrane Lung Cancer Review Group: 

A.  Financial interests

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? 
Yes: I am employed full-time by the Fundación de Gestió Sanitŕria de l'Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a not-for-profit charity, and I devote all my time to the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre and the Cochrane Lung Cancer Group. The Centre has received support from several sources, including pharmaceutical companies, as listed in the Centre's module in The Cochrane Library and on the Centre's website (www.cochrane.es).

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? 
Yes: I have received a one-off payment from an editorial company for assessing an evidence-based nursing distance learning training.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Rob Scholten, Centre Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Co-Convenor, Monitoring and Registration Group; Steering Group representative, Colloquium Policy Advisory Group; Member, Statistical Methods Group, and Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group; Author, Cochrane Back, Dementia and Cognitive Improvement, Depression Anxiety and Neurosis, Heart, and Neuromuscular Disease Review Groups:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Peter Tugwell, Cochrane Review Group Representative (of Co-ordinating Editors), Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Publishing Policy Group; Steering Group representative, Feedback Management Advisory Group; Co-ordinating Editor, Cochrane Musculoskeletal Review Group: 

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research?
I receive a stipend from the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology for my editorship of the Journal.  I also receive honoraria from the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation?
Yes, from Abbott, Almirall, American College of Rheumatology, Astra Zeneca, Aventis, Berlex, Biomatrix, Bristol Myers Squibb, British Medical Journal, Cadeuceus Group, Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Eli Lilly, Foundation for Better Health Care, Glaxo-Welcome, Glaxo Smith Kline, Immunomedics, Innovus, Johnson & Johnson, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Lilly Research, Medicine Group, Medicus, Merck, Merck Frosst, Milbank Memorial Fund, Novartis, Ortho McNeil, Pennside, Roche, Sandoz, Scios, Searle, Wyeth Ayerst, University of Minnesota, University of British Columbia, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, University of Southampton, UpToDate, VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? 
See #1 above.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation?
I receive royalties for the book 'Evidence Based Rheumatology' from BMJ Books (Blackwell Publishing) as well as royalties from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins for the textbook 'Clinical Epidemiology'. I also receive editorial royalties from UpToDate.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.

Janet Wale, Consumer Network Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Executive Group; Steering Group representative, Quality Advisory Group; freelance editor and consumer representative on Commonwealth of Australia and Western Australian health committees; consumer for the Cochrane Anaesthesia, Musculoskeletal, Musculoskeletal Injuries, and Heart Review Groups: 

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Elizabeth Waters, Field Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Publishing Policy Group; Steering Group representative, Cochrane Library Users' Group; Director, Health Promotion and Public Health Field; Member, Child Health Field Advisory Board; Member, Non-Randomised Studies Methods Group; Member, Cochrane Heart, Pregnancy and Childbirth, Airways, and Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Review Groups:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research?
I have received funds from the NHMRC, Victorian Government Department of Human Services, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, and philanthropic trusts. Colgate provided toothbrushes free of charge to a randomised controlled trial on which I was CI, and we distributed these as part of a multifaceted intervention program. 

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation?
Yes, from the World Health Organization, the Victorian Cancer Council, and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation?
I received a one-off payment for two book chapters in 'Evidence-based Paediatrics and Child Health'. 

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.

Narelle Willis, Cochrane Review Group Representative (of Review Group Co-ordinators), Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Executive Group; Steering Group representative, Quality Advisory Group; Review Group Co-ordinator, Cochrane Renal Review Group; Member, Hepato-Biliary Review Group, External Referee, Hepato-Biliary Review Group; Member, Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group; Author, Cochrane Renal Review Group; Member, Working Party for Cochrane Review Groups Procedures Collection; Member, Abstract Committee for the XIV Colloquium:

A. Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research?
I am funded by a Department of Health and Ageing (Australian Government) grant.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No: I am an employee of The Childrens Hospital at Westmead and Associated Academic Staff with the School of Public Health, The University of Sydney.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B. Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.

Hans van der Wouden, Representative of members of Cochrane Review Groups, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Steering Group representative, CENTRAL Vision Group; Member, Monitoring and Registration Group; Member, Airways Group, Ear, Nose and Throat Group, Skin Group; Member, Child Health Field:

A. Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? 
Yes: as an employee of Erasmus MC - University Medical Center Rotterdam, I have received research funding from two pharmaceutical companies:  GlaxoSmithKline and ARTU Biologicals.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? 
Yes, as a reviewer of papers for the BMJ I received several vouchers from the BMJ Publishing Group, and a fee from The Lancet.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? 
Yes, as an employee of Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, I received 1623 euros from the BMJ Publishing Group for royalty fees for the sale of reprints of a paper we published in the BMJ.

B. Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


 

Declaration of interest of Monica Kjeldstrřm, Director, Information Management System

A.  Financial interests

 

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding:  any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

 

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for an organisation? No.

 

3. Received honoraria:  one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

 

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? 
I am employed by Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, as Director of the Cochrane Collaboration Information Management System. My employment is permanent but Rigshospitalet can change my position. Rigshospitalet provides my only source of income. I am a Director of the Collaboration Trading Company.

 

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)?
I have been given, and continue to hold, shares in a small Danish biotechnology company. I’m not able to trade in these and do not receive any income from them. I will not influence the conduct of any review in which this company might have a financial interest.

 

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

 

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

 

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

 

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.

 

Declarations of interest of Secretariat staff

Jini Hetherington, Administrator and Company Secretary, Cochrane Collaboration Secretariat:

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Nick Royle, Chief Executive Officer, The Cochrane Collaboration; Member, Campbell and Cochrane Economic Methods Group; Member, Cochrane Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group: 

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Claire Allen, Deputy Administrator, Cochrane Collaboration Secretariat; Consumer (commenting on protocols and reviews) with the Cochrane Ear, Nose & Throat, Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility, Peripheral Vascular Diseases, Airways, and Acute Respiratory Infections Review Groups; Member of the Complementary Medicine Field Advisory Board; author in the Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group; and on the project team assessing the uptake of the guideline relating to Perioperative Fasting, funded by the Healthcare Foundation: 

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies:  any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation?
Yes: From The Royal College of Nursing, to produce a patient guideline leaflet for perioperative fasting.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.


Diana Wyatt, Secretary/Administrative Assistant, Cochrane Collaboration Secretariat: 

A.  Financial interests

In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research, or fellowship from a related organisation to conduct research? No.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organisation? No.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organisation? No.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organisation? No.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organisation (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)? No.

6. Received personal gifts from a related organisation? No.

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organisation? No.

8. Received royalty payments from a related organisation? No.

B.  Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest? No.