TaskExchange Champs: Cathryn finds consumer reviewers in 24 hours (sometimes)

askExchange Champs: Cathryn

Welcome to the next instalment of TaskExchange Champs, where we showcase the great people using TaskExchange and how they’re making the most of the platform.

This month our TaskExchange Community Engagement and Partnerships Manager Emily chatted to Cathryn Broderick from Cochrane Vascular about finding consumers and translators on TaskExchange.

Name: Cathryn Broderick
Occupation: Assistant Managing Editor, Cochrane Vascular

Hi Cathryn! Some TaskExchange members don’t work for Cochrane. For their benefit, could you tell us about your role as Assistant Managing Editor?

Sure. I support the Managing Editor in publishing systematic reviews – in Cochrane Vascular these deal with all aspects of peripheral vascular disease. I communicate with author teams so protocols/reviews are submitted on time and to make sure their content is correct and complete; check that conclusions match the evidence presented; and identify and invite peer and consumer referees.  I also help disseminate the systematic reviews once published to maximise their usefulness and impact.

And how do you use TaskExchange?

Primarily, I use TE to ask people with personal/carer knowledge of specific conditions – such as deep vein thrombosis or varicose veins – to act as consumer reviewers on our protocols/reviews.  Consumer reviewers are crucial in ensuring that our reviews both answer the questions relevant to the people needing the treatments (interventions) we are reporting on, and that these questions are answered in a clear way.  I also make requests for people to help translate primary studies to help author teams.  

Has TaskExchange been successful for you?

Task Exchange offers the perfect forum to bring people with a common belief in access to best evidence together.  Translations wise, I have been very successful – thank you!  I have also ‘met’ many helpful people who have acted as consumer referees, though because some of our reviews deal with very specialist topics (comparing intricate surgical techniques) it can sometimes be tricky to find consumers.  As Task Exchange has evolved, I am seeing an increase in the number of people responding – which is just great!

How, if at all, has TaskExchange impacted your group’s systematic reviews? Process and/ or findings?

The value of consumer comments on our reviews (and earlier at protocol stage) has a hugely important and positive impact on our group.  We are extremely grateful to all the people who give up their free time to wade through the details and are constantly reminded of why it is so important to get the evidence out there accurately.

That’s great to hear! How long has it taken to find helpers on TaskExchange?

There is no one answer to that.  It’s all in the timing.  I have had responses (and completed tasks) within 24 hours!  Sometimes a few weeks are needed for the right person to click that button.

Have you been able to find appropriate helpers on TaskExchange?

As above, this can be task specific.  It’s a big yes for translations.  Responses from consumers can be more sporadic and are definitely topic dependent - which is totally understandable.  I am very optimistic with more consumers becoming aware of and using TE, this will increase.

Do you post on TaskExchange every time you look for a consumer reviewer/other..?

Yes – from the end of 2018, every time a protocol/review needs a consumer reviewer I have posted on TE.

Once you’ve posted on TaskExchange, do you disseminate the task post at all?

Thanks to the twitter icon in TE it is very easy to tweet once I have posted a task.  All I need to remember to do is add handles and hashtags – I usually remember by the second tweet…...

How do you use the TaskExchange rewards system?

To thank our consumer reviewers we send them a PDF copy of the published protocol or review; and include their name both within the protocol/review and our web pages.

Do you have any final words for MEs or others considering TaskExchange to find helpers?

There’s a lot of keen and enthusiastic people in TE! Make yourself a template to remind yourself what info you need – this makes it much quicker to create a task and send it out there.

And because we’re not ALL about work… what is something fun that you’re doing out of work?

Just to try something different I recently started some evening classes to learn to play the violin.  I’m not giving up my day job just yet! I also enjoy cycling every now and then, and dragging my two teenage kids out into the fresh air!  They didn’t want to be in the photo so it’s just me and the view.

TASKEXCHANGE CHAMPS: Cathryn finds consumer reviewers in 24 hours (sometimes)

That looks beautiful Cathryn! Ah to be beside the seaside…. Thanks very much for taking the time to chat today.

My pleasure, Emily!

To find consumers and translators on TaskExchange, sign up here. And remember, you don’t have to be working for Cochrane to use TaskExchange! You might also like to read six tips on finding helpers on TaskExchange and as always, feel free to email us with any queries or feedback on taskexchange@cochrane.org


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September 10, 2019

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