Governing Board meeting, 9 January 2024

A meeting around a table

The Governing Board met (virtually) on 9 January 2024. This meeting was added to the schedule to allow time to focus specifically on Open Access. The agenda for the meeting held in December 2023 included, among other things, approval of the strategy for 2024-2027 and the budget and operational plan for 2024, so there wasn’t time to have a full discussion about Open Access.

Open Access

In 2021 the Governing Board committed to achieving universal Open Access (OA) to Cochrane systematic reviews and to do this without placing the financial burden on review authors and without risking the financial sustainability of the Charity.

Since then much work has been done to explore different options and models and to understand the benefits and risks of each.

On 9 January 2024, the Board accepted the roadmap to Open Access that has been developed in partnership with Wiley. More information will be shared as we work with Wiley to validate a model that will be financially sustainable and acceptable to funders.

Events in 2025

At meetings held in September and December 2023, the Board discussed member events. A decision about the 2025 event needs to be made as soon as possible so the Board returned to the discussion around the size, format and location of a Cochrane Colloquium in 2025. Geographic Groups had previously asked the Board to consider hosting a Colloquium in a country with a low-income or middle-income economy (LMIC).

The Board agreed that a face to face Colloquium will be held in 2025 and that all Cochrane Groups in LMICs and UMICs will be asked to express their interest in hosting the event. The Colloquim will be a smaller event to reduce the burden on the central team.

The Board will have a wider discussion about Cochrane events at the next meeting to be held in March 2024. The advantages and disadvantages of in person, virtual and hybrid events will be explored along with the benefits and risks of one large event (a Colloquium) or several regional events.

Governing Board elections 2023

The Chair congratulated Juan Franco and Tamara Kredo on being re-elected to the Board.The results of the Governing Board elections can be found on the elections website here and in a news item here.

Engagement Mechanisms Working Group

The Working Group (made up of members of the Governing Board and the former Council) set up to develop new and improved ways of engaging with the Cochrane Community met on 12 December 2023. It will meet again in February and develop a proposal for the Board to consider. In the interim, members of the former Council will continue to serve on the Committees and Working Groups they are currently members of.

Recruitment of a Chair for Cochrane

In May 2023, Jordi Pardo Pardo was appointed as Interim Chair. In August 2023, the Board agreed that a single Chair will be appointed after a robust recruitment process and, to ensure openness and transparency a recruitment consultant will be used.

The Governance and Nominations Committee considered proposals from three recruitment consultants and scored each of them using criteria including understanding of the requirements, track record in international recruitment to Governing Boards and cost.

The Board approved a recommendation from the Governance and Nominations Committee that Prospectus be appointed to lead the recruitment. The process is expected to take several months. The role description and application process will be shared with the Cochrane Community and our wider networks.

Next meeting

The Board will meet face to face in Berlin in March 2024. Opportunities to engage with the German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine (EbM) who are holding their 25th annual meeting from 13-15 March 2024 will be sought.

The agenda and papers for Governing Board meetings are published here.

16 January 2024