Research Integrity

Cochrane is committed to independence, transparency, and integrity in healthcare research. The Research Integrity Team works to support and strengthen this commitment through research, policy development and implementation, advocacy and community outreach. The Research Integrity Team comprises of four members:

  • Senior Research Integrity Editor, Lisa Bero
  • Research Integrity Editor, Stephanie Boughton
  • EMD Senior Programme Manager, Ruth Foxlee
  • EMD Project Support Officer, Maria Gerardi

Research

Building on Cochrane’s strong history of conducting meta-research to detect research integrity problems, the Research Integrity Editors are developing Cochrane’s Research Integrity Agenda which brings together and prioritizes research projects related to research integrity. Working with interested researchers from across Cochrane’s global community, the Research Integrity Editors have identified priority research projects with relevance for Cochrane and is currently seeking funding for them.

The following projects are currently on Cochrane’s Research Integrity Agenda and are divided into three main areas:

Related to primary research

  • Detecting issues of validity, reliability, analysis and robustness in publications/data
    • Identification of study characteristics associated with “problematic” trials (status: collaborators on grant proposal)
    • Development and testing of automated systems to detect the above (status: collaborators on grant proposal)
    • Identification of ‘key features’/ ‘red flags’ associated with inaccurate (potentially fraudulent) results for observational studies of harm and/or of secondary data
  • Comparison of preprints with peer-reviewed publications on COVID-19: Discrepancies in results reporting and conclusions (status: published BMJ Open 2021;11:e051821)

Related to systematic reviews

  • Bias in selection of data for meta-analysis
  • Evaluating protocols/adherence to protocols
  • Evaluating restricting reviews to prospectively registered trials/studies with protocols/studies with analysis plan
  • Evaluating impact of inclusion of preprints

Related to research behaviours

  • Method for addressing bias related to non-financial interests
  • Assessing impact of stricter CoI policy

The Research Integrity Agenda is evolving and will be constantly revised. We are always eager for input into it. If you are interested in collaborating on any of the projects listed above, have suggestions for other relevant research projects, or are a member of the Cochrane community working on a project relevant to research integrity, we would love to hear from you. Please contact researchintegrity@cochrane.org.

Advocacy

Members of the Research Integrity Team are involved in several external projects and regularly attend events related to research integrity.

We are stakeholders/participants in the following projects:

Past events:

Upcoming events:

  • PharmedOut - 16 – 8 June 2021 (Lisa will be speaking about the evolution of Cochrane’s CoI policy)

For further information on Cochrane’s advocacy for transparency and integrity in research see here.