Introduction on Membership

The membership process will create a better experience for newcomers without adding to Group staff workloads. Membership recognizes the valuable contribution of our existing collaborators, so this system is designed to work for you.

How will membership reduce my workload?

  • Greater reporting—you will have a better overall sense of the Cochrane activity in your country or topic area, to inform the work of your Group.
  • No data protection responsibility -The new system will handle all data protection issues so you don’t have to worry about it and you don’t have to worry about keeping your lists up to date. We will do all of this for you.
  • Targeted dissemination - We will set up an email system that directs information about the work of your Group to the right people.
  • Skillset identification - We will make it easier for you to be able to find the people who want to help you do your work whether that’s potential peer reviewers, participants for priority setting or appropriate attendees for your training sessions.
  • Systematic implementation - We will provide training and support to help Groups get the most out of this new system.

What will change in how we manage contacts?

  • To benefit from the system, you will need to contribute any databases of people to the master database and use that resource instead.
  • The Get Involved section of all Group websites will all point to the same place and be managed centrally, again, reducing the need for groups to have to worry about this section.
  • Anyone seeking to get involved in the future will sign up using one central form to explore all the options available. We will offer choices on how to contribute to the work of Cochrane and save each Group the trouble of doing this each time a new individual makes contact. You will still be able to build personal relationships with contributors where you have need and capacity to do so.


Phase One project plan 

Phase one sees the creation of a membership database that will store details of all Cochrane contributors and will track their contribution to Cochrane, whether that is as an author, translator, Crowd participant, Task Exchange contributor or a learner. The system will allow us to build profiles for individuals so that people can show their credentials when seeking to undertake a task and Groups will be able to more reliably assess the ability and experience of someone who wants to contribute to the Group.

Managing all of our data on people in one central database with this contextual information on contribution will allow Cochrane to make better use of the community of willing volunteers who wish to contribute. The system will be able to recommend activities to new members to help them build up their skills and experience and make it easier for people to help with the work of Cochrane without burdening Groups.

Cochrane Membership

What can Groups do to help?

There are three key steps in the Phase One that we need your help with:

  1. ‘User Journeys’ is the term used to describe the way a person engages with an organisation and the pathway they take in their engagement. We would hope that those who approach us find appropriate tasks to engage with and appropriate training and resources. We also hope that they go on to have a deeper involvement with Cochrane over time. We are mapping the current pathways that people take and also the future pathways we want people to take. Your help would be appreciated in this regard to ensure that we capture the right information for the people who engage with your Groups.
  2. System requirements gathering. When setting up the new membership database system we need to know from the beginning what our requirements are so that it is set up appropriately. We want to ensure that all Cochrane Groups have a chance to contribute to this part of the work as it is a system that will be of benefit to all if it is set up correctly. We will need to know what sort of data you need to capture on people and what sort of reporting you would need from the system (i.e. what useful data you would like to be able to obtain from the system once operational).
  3. Data migration. If you hold any databases, mailing lists, etc. that are not stored on Cochrane servers, e.g. Archie or MailMan, then we need to know about these for the purposes of migrating the data on to the new system.

Please contact your Executive  to provide input on for your Group. We have been discussing this project with the Executives of Cochrane Groups and have asked them to nominate a main point of contact to provide feedback. These individuals will be updated on progress and will be able to report back to the Group.