A new chapter for Cochrane
As an evidence-producing and knowledge-diffusing organization Cochrane’s past, present, and future success is built on the quality of the people it attracts and retains. We are so proud of the tens of thousands of volunteers who work for us because we know that what we do and the impact for good that we have as an organization are rooted in their efforts.
That’s why I’m delighted to announce a new initiative which I believe will transform Cochrane in the future. This month we are proud to launch our new Cochrane Membership scheme, making it easier than ever before for anyone to become a part of our global community of supporters, passionate about improving healthcare decisions.
Cochrane’s world is now wider! The Membership scheme is the pivotal organizational initiative which will enable us to grow our collaboration, attracting many new people with a wider range of experience and skills into our work, and allowing us to recognize their contributions and sustain our global activities.
This month’s launch is the first phase of our Membership scheme, which will continue to evolve and improve in the coming months and years. I wanted to share with you what this means for the existing Cochrane community, and how will it will affect your work.
Membership recognizes the enormously valuable contribution of our current collaborators. Here are just a few ways in which Membership will support your Cochrane activities:
- Better guidance for new contributors: New online resources provide clear pathways to a variety of opportunities with no added impact on limited Group resources.
- No data protection responsibility: Our new infrastructure handles all data protection issues centrally so you don’t have to worry about keeping your lists up to date.
- Better reporting: You will have improved reporting of the Cochrane activity in your country or topic area to inform the work of your Group.
- More effective communication: A new central email system directs information about the work of your Group which will ensure more effective targeted dissemination.
- Easier skillset identification: The new Membership scheme will make it easier for you to be able to find the people who want to help you with your activities: whether that’s potential peer referees, participants for priority setting, or appropriate attendees for your training sessions.
- Systematic implementation: We’ll provide training and support to help Groups maximize the potential of our new system.
- Better, clearer and more comprehensive ways to recognize the work of our contributors: There will be a track-record of all contributions made, with easy access to eligibility for Cochrane’s annual awards, certificates, and potential accreditation.
For those who are brand new to Cochrane, Membership makes it easier to join us, to make contributions to Cochrane’s work, and to be a part of our global community. It allows new members to:
- Develop new skills and interests
- Work with like-minded colleagues and collaborators
- Grow professional and social networks
- Receive world class training from world leading experts in the fields of medicine, health policy, research methodology, and consumer advocacy
- See their contributions recorded and recognized
- Influence how Cochrane is run through voting for its Governing Board members and resolutions in the Annual General Meeting
This month’s launch sees the creation and completion of our central membership database that will store details of all Cochrane contributors and will track your contributions to Cochrane, whether that is as an author, translator, Crowd participant, Task Exchange contributor or a learner. The system will be able to recommend activities to new members to help them expand their skills, experience, and expertise, making it easier for people to contribute to Cochrane’s work without increasing the workload of our existing Groups.
Over the next few weeks, we will be notifying our existing members of our launch, and working with Review Groups in re-directing their website “Get Involved” information to our new "Join Cochrane" pages on Cochrane.org. We are also streamlining the process of accessing and updating your Cochrane account - get more information here about how to keep your personal profile up to date, sign up for more information, and access all Cochrane tools. We will update you each month with progress on Cochrane Membership, as well as information on the introduction of new and exciting features. All these announcements will feature within our Community website, and through our Membership pages.
We will be announcing the launch of Cochrane Membership to a wider world at the Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town in September; encouraging new supporters to join us; and you will see new features on the Cochrane.org website with a more public launch at the Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town in September.
Cochrane Membership signals a huge change for the organization. It opens our doors to the world in a new expansive way, and announces that everyone is welcome to join us and make a contribution – large or small – to our global mission. But in a fundamental way, Cochrane Membership is simply the continuation and development of what we are and have been for 24 years: an open collaboration of brilliant people from around the world all working together to inform and impact health decision making.
With my very best wishes,