Minutes of meeting of the

Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group

Bergamo, Italy

29 February, 1 and 2 March 2004


[These minutes were approved by the Steering Group Executive on 23 March 2004]


Advisory Group, Cochrane CENTRAL


[Advisory] Group, Cochrane Library Users’


Advisory Group, Colloquium Policy


Advisory Group, Criticism Management


Advisory Group, Handbook


[Advisory] Group, Information Management System


Advisory Group, Quality


Archive, Cochrane Collaboration


Book series, proposal for collaboration on


Business Plans


Campbell Collaboration liaison


CENTRAL Advisory Group


CENTRAL, development of a new and improved


Centre Directors’ meeting, report from


Centres, Francophone Cochrane Initiative


Centres, guiding principles for staff

Centres, report from entity representatives


Centres, responsibilities of Directors and staff


Chief Executive Officer, report from


Cochrane CENTRAL Advisory Group


Cochrane Collaboration, collecting examples of influence and output of


Cochrane Collaboration leaflet and brochure

Cochrane Consumer Network Incorporated (CCNI)


Cochrane Library, access for training purposes, and to subscriber list


Cochrane Library, proposed process and timetable for future development of


Cochrane Library Users’ Group


Cochrane reviews of diagnostic tests


Cochrane reviews, plagiarism within


Cochrane reviews, reprints of


Cochrane reviews, synopses of


Cochrane reviews, title registration system for new

Colloquia, future, 24

Colloquia, registration of entities


Collaborative Review Groups, report from entity representatives


Collaboration Trading Company, issues raised by Directors


Colloquium 2004, Ottawa


Colloquium 2005, Melbourne


Colloquium 2006, Dublin

24.3 (i)

Colloquium 2007, Brazil

24.3 (ii)

Colloquium 2008, Germany

24.3 (iii)

Colloquium Policy Advisory Group


Comments and Criticisms system


Conflict of interest on corporate/commercial sponsorship


Conflicts/declarations of interest by Steering Group members of potential

2, 29.1, Appendix

Constitution (Memorandum and Articles of Association)


Consumer Network

6.2, 21.5

Contingency Fund expenditure and limit


Copy editing projects


Criticism Management Advisory Group


Cross-cultural team working within The Cochrane Collaboration


Declarations of interests of Steering Group members, Secretariat and IMS Director

2, 29.1, Appendix

Derivative products, Mental Health Library and other


Derivative products, royalties on


Developing countries initiative


Diagnostic test accuracy, reviews of




Discretionary Fund expenditure


Entity representatives, reports from


Fields/Networks, report from entity representative


Finance, allocation of expenditure between financial years


Finance, cash flow forecast and current financial position


Finance, Contingency Fund expenditure and limit


Finance, Discretionary Fund expenditure


Finance, estimated expenditure for 2003-04 and provisional budget for 2004-05


Finance, registration of entities at Cochrane Colloquia


Francophone Cochrane Initiative


Funders’ Forum


Handbook Advisory Group


Information Management System, changes in terminology


Information Management System Group


Information Management System Group, funding for [IMSG] advisory groups


Information Management System, specification for RevMan 5


Information Management System, status of the new


International Standardized Randomized Controlled Trials Numbering scheme (ISRCTN)


Key dates in 2004




Memorandum and Articles of Association (‘the Constitution’)


Mental Health Library

13, 13.1

Methods Groups, report from entity representative


Monitoring and Registration Group


Open learning resources

Plagiarism within Cochrane reviews


Publication Arbiter


Publishing Policy Group


Quality Advisory Group


Quality Improvement Manager’s report


Review title registration system


RevMan 5, specification for


Royalties on derivative products


Steering Group, future meetings (Ottawa, Providence and Melbourne)


Steering Group, minutes of sub-group meetings

Steering Group, monitoring of


Steering Group, next Chair/Co-Chairs of


Steering Group, outstanding action items


Steering Group, report from Co-Chairs of




Title registration system for reviews


Trading Company, issues raised by Directors


Transcultural sensitivities



10, 11, 13


Minutes of

Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group meeting

Bergamo, Italy
29 February, 1 and 2 March 2004

[These minutes were approved by the Steering Group Executive on 23 March 2004]

Gerd Antes, Kathie Clark, Mike Clarke (Co-Chair), Mark Davies, Jon Deeks, Davina Ghersi, Sally Green, Steff Lewis, Jim Neilson (Co-Chair), Jordi Pardo, Silvana Simi, Peter Tugwell, and Janet Wale. 


In attendance:  Vittorio Demicheli (no longer on the CCSG, but attending to represent Fields), Kay Dickersin (for item 9 only), Rachel Churchill (for item 13 only), Jini Hetherington (minutes), Monica Kjeldstrøm (Information Management System Director and representative of the Collaboration Trading Company Directors), and Nick Royle (Chief Executive Officer).  Wiley representatives, Deborah Dixon, Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert, Rosie Altoft, Julian Clayton and Andrew Cullis, were present for items 10, 11 and 13 only.

1.   Welcomes, apologies for absence, introductions, and approval of the agenda
Mike welcomed everyone to the meeting.  David Henderson-Smart would participate by telephone from Sydney, for the item on commercial sponsorship (item 8) only.  The Campbell Collaboration had been invited to send a representative to this meeting but had not identified anyone to take up the invitation.

2.   Declarations by Steering Group members of potential conflicts of interest
All members of the Steering Group and the Secretariat had recently submitted Declaration of interest statements for publication in The Cochrane Library and these are appended to these minutes. Those present were asked to declare any additional interests of relevance to the meeting.  Janet said she had recently attended two meetings that had been funded by pharmaceutical companies.  Jim declared his competing interest as the Co-ordinating Editor of a CRG which had recently had its funding cut substantially.  Monica said that there is potential conflict in the fact she is employed by the Nordic Cochrane Centre to oversee the development of software within The Cochrane Collaboration, in particular the development of the Cochrane Information Management System (IMS).  Decisions made by the Steering Group about software development, therefore, may influence her job.  Some of the projects on which Monica works are funded by the Collaboration; she is also a Director of the Trading Company.  It was noted that if anyone wishes to amend their Declaration of interest statement at any time, they should send such amendments to Jini to include in the Collaboration module.  It was agreed that the phrase ’declaration of interests’ is preferable to ‘conflicts of interest’. 

3.   Matters arising from minutes of previous meeting, not on this agenda - Open learning resources:  In following up on the request for the Handbook Advisory Group to conduct a survey of open learning materials developed by Cochrane entities, Sally reported that the Handbook Advisory Group has formed a sub-committee to manage the Collaboration’s open learning material for reviewer training, and has placed this survey on its action list but with a low priority assigned to it.  Sally reported that a survey of entities is planned for 6-12 months’ time.

4.   Report from the Co-Chairs
   Jim and Mike said that the agenda for this meeting covered everything they would otherwise have raised.

5.   Financial and legal matters:

            5.1     Cash flow forecast, and current financial position:  Monica agreed to send Nick revised figures for the costs of the Information Management System (IMS), which would include annual running costs of the IMS at the end of the development phase, to be added to the cash flow forecast.  Sally suggested, and it was agreed, that it would be helpful if funds were shown separately in the cash flow forecast for particular initiatives and for operating costs.  Nick will e-mail a suitably revised cash flow forecast to the Steering Group, for discussion by the Executive on 23 March 2004. 
Action:  Nick
5.2        Allocation of expenditure between financial years:  It was agreed that committed and uncommitted funds should be shown more clearly at the Annual General Meetings.  Having committed funds appear as a debt in the audited accounts might achieve this.  There was discussion about the need to avoid the payment of grants to other legal entities incurring institutional overheads, and it was agreed that grants should be paid in quarterly or annual amounts, in advance or in arrears, whichever is most practical in each circumstance.    

5.3        Estimated expenditure for 2003-04 and provisional budget for 04-05:  Several items in the provisional budget for next year were clarified.

5.4        Contingency and Discretionary Fund expenditure: 

5.4.1     Discretionary Fund: 
Mike reminded the Steering Group that the Discretionary Fund limit had been raised in October 2003 to £15,000 per year, with a £3000 limit to any one applicant, and that the year for these purposes is 1 April to 31 March.  Nick explained that the recent applications to the Discretionary Fund from the South African Cochrane Centre and the Pregnancy and Childbirth Group had been funded from core expenditure instead, because they did not meet the Discretionary Fund criteria but were judged to be appropriate for funding by The Cochrane Collaboration, in particular because of the importance of developing country activity in both.  At Davina’s suggestion it was agreed that a report-back requirement should be added to the criteria for applying to the Discretionary Fund, in the Cochrane Manual. 
Action:  Jini

5.4.2     Contingency Fund limit:  Jini reported that the money in the Contingency Fund is invested in a sixty-day, high-interest rate deposit account.  Nick was asked to work with Gerd, Kathie and Sally to produce a contingency plan which would include recommendations for the appropriate size and purpose of the Collaboration Contingency Fund for discussion at the next Steering Group meeting in Ottawa.  It was agreed that the plan would need to be reviewed annually to ensure that it always reflects current circumstances.   
Action:  Nick, Sally, Kathie, Gerd

5.5     Registration of entities at Cochrane Colloquia:  Kathie confirmed that Jini had transferred Collaboration funds to the Ottawa Colloquium organisers for 82 entity-sponsored registration fees.  Kathie would shortly be advising entities of the mechanism by which they should identify which individual in their entity is to benefit from this sponsorship.  Some entities had said they did not need this sponsored registration and wanted to donate it to another entity, but the mechanism for doing so had not yet been worked out.   
Action:  Kathie

6.       Report from the Chief Executive Officer
Nick reported on the high quality of the support provided to the Collaboration by the staff of the Secretariat.  He said he would be putting more time into identifying funding sources in the coming months.  He reported on progress in pursuing funding from the European Union, via Dr Quintana, with whom he is now in correspondence in regard to a possible funding call in June or July 2004.  Such funding would not be limited to EU members, so Cochrane entities based outside of the EU could be involved in making any such application.  Nick agreed to liaise with European Cochrane entities who might be bidding for EU funding to ensure that if more than one proposal is submitted, these would not work against each other. 
Action:  Nick

6.1        Business Plans:  Nick presented the revised version of the draft business plan for the Collaboration and the draft template for a business plan for Cochrane entities.  He agreed to send Steering Group members electronic versions of these, to enable them to send their feedback and suggested amendments to him.  It was noted that the draft business plan for the Collaboration should contain some discussion of translation.  The use of ‘randomised controlled trials’ throughout the draft should be broadened to include other types of studies.  The template business plan should be adapted to suit other entities (the current template is suitable for CRGs only).  Nick was asked to include some standard graphs such as the number of contributors, the size of the Collaboration, and the number of Cochrane protocols and reviews.  The Secretariat will maintain up-to-date copies of these graphs.  Nick said that the cash amounts in the Collaboration’s business plan were estimates only, and he was asked to remove these before circulating the draft to funders.  However, it was noted that it would be inappropriate to circulate the plan to some funders in draft form, and Nick should liaise with the relevant Cochrane entities to ensure that it was not sent to these funders.  Mike said that Miranda Mugford had recently sent her report on the cost of individual reviews to Jim and himself, but that this was not yet ready for sharing with funders.  Nick explained the types of commercial sources of sponsorship funding that could be acceptable to the Collaboration, and said that he was investigating trans-national funding sources.  Jim said that he should draw on collective expertise within the Steering Group in doing this.   
Action:  Nick, Everyone
6.2        Cochrane Consumer Network Incorporated:  Nick reported that some progress has been made towards closing down the Cochrane Consumer Network Incorporated (CCNI), but that the audit has taken much longer than expected.  Closure cannot be achieved until this is complete.  Negotiations with Hilda Bastian about a Service Level Agreement are on hold until the audit has been completed.  Nick was asked to expedite this matter.
Action:  Nick

6.3        Future of the Funders’ Forum:  It was agreed that Jim should invite Dan Fox to the next Steering Group meeting to discuss this.  Jim said that Nick would be giving the highest priority from now on to co-ordinating the effort to increase funding for the Collaboration.  Kathie described an all-day event that will be held during the Ottawa Colloquium for Canadian policy makers and potential funders, with members of the Funders’ Forum, which is being underwritten by Dan Fox.  Sally explained that in her own local circumstances it would be inappropriate for a member of the Funders’ Forum to visit funders in her area without close liaison with her as Director of the Australasian Cochrane Centre, and Gerd and Kathie agreed that the same might be true for them in their area.  Jim asked for ‘Funding initiatives’ to be a standing item on future Executive agendas, and asked Nick to prepare a paper for the next Executive meeting on 23 March on the funding strategy for the Collaboration.  It was suggested that asking funders for support for discrete projects might be more successful than seeking infrastructure funding, but Jim said that the latter was what the Collaboration so badly needs.  Jim proposed a small ad hoc working group to work on this initiative with Nick, and volunteered to participate, as did Mike, Gerd, Peter and Jon.  It was agreed that Jim should invite Nandi Siegfried to join this working group to provide a developing country perspective.
Action:  Gerd, Jim, Jon, Mike, Nick, Peter

6.4        Disclaimers: 
Nick had obtained advice from the Collaboration’s solicitors that the organisation’s various disclaimers (including the disclaimers for the Collaboration’s software) might benefit from being updated.  He was asked to circulate the full report from the solicitors to the Steering Group, and agreed to work through the Publishing Policy Group to investigate what changes, if any, will be necessary.  Jini advised that Steering Group members are covered by public liability insurance. 
Action:  Nick

7.       Status of the new Information Management System

7.1        Specification for RevMan 5:  Monica explained that the structure of RevMan 5, including the concept of having a ‘Summary of findings’ table (previously called a ‘balance sheet’) in RevMan, needed Steering Group approval now, so that this could be built into the new IMS in time for the proposed release of RevMan 5 in 2006.  She clarified that the relevant documentation, including the necessary changes to the Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook, would not be needed for another year at least.  It was agreed that it was desirable to have functionality programmed into RevMan for creating a table which summarises the results across outcomes, although concerns were expressed that the example balance sheet included in the proposal required further development.  The further development of possible summary tables needs to be undertaken in collaboration with the Statistical Methods Group and others.  Mike reported that most of the proposed new structure for Cochrane reviews had been discussed extensively by the RevMan Advisory Group and the Information Management System Group, but that the recommendations from the Cochrane CENTRAL Advisory Group that references in Cochrane reviews should include fields for the PubMed ID, language of publication and author’s contact details had arrived too late for face to face discussion.  The Steering Group discussed these items in depth and because of concerns about the likely high workload for reviewers and editorial bases it was agreed that fields should not be added for language of publication and authors’ contact details.  It was also agreed that it should be made possible, if considered desirable at some future point, to include links from within synopses.  The Steering Group agreed the specification for RevMan 5 with the above changes. 
Action:  Mike, Monica

8.       Conflict of interest on corporate sponsorship

Jim reported that the consultation had generated an enormous amount of detailed and thoughtful comment from 156 individuals and groups.  The Steering Group considered these in great detail, over the course of their two-and-a-half-day meeting, and identified certain issues about which decisions could be made immediately, and others about which it was difficult to reach firm conclusions at present.  It was agreed that the policy document would be prepared, and disseminated throughout The Cochrane Collaboration in about a month's time.
Action:  Jim

9.       Development of a new and improved CENTRAL
Kay Dickersin attended the meeting for this item only.  It was agreed that the aim should be for CENTRAL to be as ‘clean’ as possible.  Kathie drew attention to the fact that it is now a core function of CRGs that they keep specialised registers, and submit these to CENTRAL.  Kay reported that, because this had not been a requirement in the past, a small number of CRGs do not currently submit their registers to CENTRAL.  She proposed that the first aim should be to produce a clean version of CENTRAL, feeding this back to CRGs as a means of helping them to improve the quality of the content in their registers.  It was emphasised that requests to CRGs should be phrased in a positive way, and offering them help.  Kay and Monica agreed that it was important to co-ordinate this activity with the IMS to minimise duplication of effort.  The CCAG was asked to provide a statement of what is now required to improve CENTRAL in the way suggested, with resource implications.  It was agreed that a sub-group of the IMSG should be established to investigate software and data entry aspects and that the CCAG should continue to provide advice.  Kay, Mike and Monica would work on this but it was noted that it would not be appropriate for Kay to convene the new sub-group because of the potential conflict of interest in relation to the role of the US Cochrane Center, which had requested to oversee the process.  In closing this discussion, the CCSG noted that it recognises the importance of CENTRAL, and of the specialised registers, and that it wishes to work through the IMSG to facilitate the preparation of high quality registers of controlled trials.
Action:  Kay Dickersin, Mike, Monica

10.   Proposed process and timetable for future development of The Cochrane Library
The members of the Steering Group and the staff of John Wiley and Sons introduced themselves to each other.  The Wiley representatives at the meeting were Deborah Dixon (Editorial Director), Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (Managing Editor), Rosie Altoft (Vice President, Web Publishing Systems), Julian Clayton (Vice President, Training and Educational Systems), and Andrew Cullis (Associate Director, Content Systems).  Deborah D gave a short PowerPoint presentation describing the progress since the signing of the contract between The Cochrane Collaboration and John Wiley and Sons, effective 1 March 2003.  She asked the Steering Group to agree on the process to be followed for the transfer of The Cochrane Library to the Wiley InterScience site and the retirement of the Update Software version.  There would be intensive internal Wiley testing against the list of acceptance criteria; search and functionality would be assessed by a team of four Cochrane Collaboration people; the testing of the new statistical analysis package would be overseen by the Statistical Methods Group, and the Publishing Policy Group would be asked to test and approve the ‘look and feel’ of the product.  Deborah D hoped that this testing could be completed within the next six weeks, before the release date for Issue 2 of The Cochrane Library.  She gave reassurance that Wiley would pay those doing the statistical testing and that it was anticipated that this would be done by the group in Liverpool who had tested the RevMan Analyses package. 

Sally and Mike asked whether testing would be done to reflect usage of The Cochrane Library by people in developing countries and people with slow connections to the Internet:  they were reassured that it would.  The first phase of testing on the functionality of the product would use identified testing consultants within the Collaboration such as the Statistical Methods Group, and the product would then be made available to the Cochrane Library Users’ Group and others.  It was confirmed that every Cochrane review would be looked at within the Wiley InterScience site to ensure that any rare anomalies were identified.  Rosie reported that Wiley have a system of parallel servers so The Cochrane Library should never be unavailable for an unacceptable length of time.  Deborah D said that agreement had now been reached with the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination that Wiley would include all three of their databases in The Cochrane Library on the Wiley InterScience site.  The process outlined by Wiley for achieving sign-off was described and agreed to.  It was stressed that sign-off will not be determined by the calendar, but by whether the product is at the appropriate state of development.

Deborah D said that Wiley would be communicating with all entities and countries with national provision about accessing The Cochrane Library via ‘www.thecochranelibrary.com’ when the Update Software site is retired.  When notice has been given to Update Software, the three-month notice period will be used to educate people and help them to adjust to the change of provider.  Deborah PG explained that trainers would be given an advance look at the product from mid-March, and it was stressed that Centres would also appreciate being given this opportunity. 

Mike asked for the opinions of the Steering Group on whether the Cochrane Methodology Register (CMR) should be included in The Cochrane Library on the Wiley InterScience site.  He declared a conflict as the UKCC may seek funding to work on the CMR.  There was considerable discussion of this and it was agreed that it would be preferable for it to be made freely available on the Collaboration web site.  Davina suggested that Wiley should explore whether CMR could be included in CENTRAL and bring this to the Publishing Policy Group.  It was agreed that this was a good idea that should be explored further.  It was noted that neither Wiley nor the Steering Group have any objection to CMR being published free of charge elsewhere even if it is still included in The Cochrane Library.  Monica and Gerd will discuss with Dave Booker the technical requirements of putting CMR on the web site and will liaise with the UKCC (who prepare CMR) about this. 
Action:  Monica, Gerd, Mike

Andrew Cullis outlined plans for the future development of The Cochrane Library.  There would be one functionality update per year, with the final decision resting with the Publishing Policy Group, which would approve and forward requests to Wiley.  Wiley would inform this group of changes that were needed because of changes to the Wiley InterScience site.  Andrew outlined the following timetable:  Full requirements gathering between January and March each year with the final sign off on the requirements to be agreed by 1 June.  Development to include the use of the Colloquium as an opportunity to preview the January changes.  The plan would be to adopt the agreed changes from Issue 2 for January 2005.  Monica was reassured that the IMS discussions with Wiley will be separate from this cycle, which is mostly concerned with the changes that users suggest in relation to look and feel, functionality, etc.  It was noted that this schedule would not preclude the possibility of changes being made to The Cochrane Library more frequently, at least in the first few issues on the Wiley InterScience site.  It was agreed that this process would be reviewed on or by 1 June 2005.
Action:  Wiley

11.   Synopses
Davina summarised the current situation with regard to synopses.  Gerd reported that an assessment of more than 100 synopses had revealed serious inconsistencies between the synopses and the full content of the review. Mike reported that in Issue 1, 2004 of The Cochrane Library there are about 320 (17%) reviews without synopses, 70% of Cochrane reviews have a headline and a block of text in the synopses section, and about 12% contain something other than a headline and a block of text.  It was re-stated that the responsibility for synopses rested with the relevant reviewers and their Collaborative Review Group.  Sally reported that a sub-group of the Handbook Advisory Group is already working on providing advice on the content of synopses and how to write them.  This is an opportunity to link members of the Consumer Network with the appropriate Collaborative Review Group, to help ensure that synopses are understandable.  Nick agreed to write to Hilda Bastian and provide closure on her formal involvement in the preparation of synopses for Cochrane reviews.  Deborah D responded to Janet’s request to work towards making the synopses more easily available on the Wiley InterScience site.
Action:  Nick, Deborah

12.   Collecting examples of the influence of The Cochrane Collaboration and its output
Nick introduced this project, a prototype of which had been prepared by Miranda Cumpston at the Canadian Cochrane Centre.  The intent is to use existing mechanisms (the entity e-mail lists, CCInfo and CLUG) to survey the Collaboration to ask for feedback, and that it is important to avoid duplication with questions asked in the entity monitoring process.  Kathie agreed to ask the Monitoring and Registration Group to consider including an invitation on the monitoring forms for entities to provide examples of the influence of The Cochrane Collaboration and its output.  It was agreed in principle that this was a good initiative, and detailed costings should be produced for the Executive to consider, for the second and third phases of the project.  The sum of $7000 CAD was committed to funding the first phase.  The information would eventually be made available on the Collaboration web site.
Action:  Kathie, Nick

13.   Mental Health Library (MHL) and other derivative products
Deborah D discussed some general issues surrounding publishing derivative products of The Cochrane Library.  She gave reassurance that any disaggregation of the content of reviews would need to be approved by their authors.  There was discussion as to whether royalties from derivative products should accrue to The Cochrane Collaboration or to the relevant Cochrane entities, and it was agreed that there should be a split.  Deborah D explained that Wiley has the right of first refusal to publish derivative products; the Reproductive Health Library and The Cochrane Library Plus en español are two examples of such products that Wiley chose not to publish. 

13.1      Mental Health Library (MHL):  Rachel Churchill, Co-ordinating Editor of the Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group, joined the meeting for discussion of this item only.  She provided some background and history on the development of the Mental Health Library, which is contributed to by five Collaborative Review Groups:  the Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group; the Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group; the Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group; the Drugs and Alcohol Group; and the Schizophrenia Group.  Rachel explained the added value of the MHL over and above the material from these Groups that is contained in The Cochrane Library.   

Deborah D confirmed that none of the countries with national provision are contractually requiring Wiley not to market derivative products in their territory.  Rachel confirmed that the Cochrane reviews and protocols in the MHL were the entire output of the five CRGs involved, and that no other Cochrane protocols or reviews were included.  Mike clarified that any decision taken by the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group would relate solely to the inclusion of The Cochrane Collaboration’s output in the MHL, and that the inclusion of CRD output was a matter for discussion between MHL and CRD.  Rachel said that the contract would be signed by the Finnish National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES), and the MHL partners would decide on the distribution of the royalties.

It was agreed that the MHL is not a Cochrane Collaboration product:  it is a derivative product and will be marketed as such.  It was agreed that the Steering Group was supportive of this product in principle.  Deborah D said that the Collaboration would be involved in the detail of the contract between Wiley and the MHL.  The Steering Group was impressed with the amount of work that had gone into this product, and noted that this made it a very special case, which other Collaborative Review Groups should be wary of copying without the same commitment and resources:  it would not have been possible without the funding made available by the European Union and the Finnish National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health.  It was agreed that there should be a formal agreement that a share of the royalty should go to The Cochrane Collaboration in recognition of the contribution that core activities of The Cochrane Collaboration make to the preparation and maintenance of Cochrane reviews, and that this share should be set through discussions between the mental health groups, the PPG and Wiley.  However, in recognition of the work already put into the MHL by the partners and the fact that this derivative product might provide a pilot for others, it was also agreed that the Collaboration should waive the royalty.  This would be kept under annual review, depending on the success of the MHL and the possible impact on sales of The Cochrane Library.  Rachel agreed that the MHL partners should provide a report to the Publishing Policy Group in about ten months’ time. The PPG would identify someone to act as liaison with the MHL.  Rachel thanked the Steering Group for their support and encouragement and left the meeting at this point. She will report back to the other MHL partners. 
Action:  Nick, Mike, Rachel Churchill
13.2      Royalties on derivative products:  There was further discussion of the size of royalties for derivative products in general.  Deborah D explained that 40% royalties are being paid to the MHL partners for the Mental Health Library, but this should be viewed as a special case.  For other derivative products it was agreed that the Collaboration should be more involved in setting the figure for royalties and that in some circumstances a licence fee might be preferable to a percentage royalty on sales.  Jon suggested that money received by the Collaboration from derivative products should be used for specific aims and that this information should be disseminated.  It was agreed that this suggestion should be followed up on when such funds have been accumulated.

13.3      Reprints of Cochrane reviews:  Deborah D said that Wiley would like to continue to produce reprints of Cochrane reviews, and sought some guidance about terms for bulk purchase.  Wiley is also exploring the possibility of publishing a digest of new and updated Cochrane reviews, to be made available to general practitioners in particular.  Deborah D gave reassurance that reprints would be available in languages other than English, should these be required.

13.4      Access to CLIB and subscriber list:  Sally raised two issues on behalf of the recent Centre Directors’ meeting that were relevant to this part of the discussion:  access to The Cochrane Library for training purposes, and access to information on current subscriptions to The Cochrane Library.  Deborah PG explained that Wiley were trying to ensure that complementary access to The Cochrane Library would be made available for training purposes, and requested that Wiley be given as much notice as possible of these events to ensure that these requests are handled smoothly.  Deborah D explained that Update Software had not supplied any data to them on current subscribers to The Cochrane Library, and that Wiley has had to construct a new subscriber list.  When this list is ready she will send it to Nick, as CEO, so that he can provide information to individual Centre Directors on request, to the extent that this is appropriate and in line with the Data Protection Act.  Statistics on the usage of The Cochrane Library on the Wiley InterScience site will also be made available to the Collaboration.  Such data will be given to the CEO via the Publishing Policy Group, and Nick is in discussion with Wiley about the format for such reports.  Sally agreed to feed this information back to the Centre Directors.   
Action:  Deborah D, Sally

14.   Comments and Criticisms system
Mike explained that there are two new Co-Convenors of the Criticism Management Advisory Group, Richmal Oates-Whitehead and Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin.  He reported that they would be discussing the future of this system with the Criticisms Management Advisory Group in the near future and that these discussions should help to identify the best ways forward with the tasks on the list prepared by the San Francisco branch of the US Cochrane Center.  Sally had asked if Richmal or Sherri would join the Quality Advisory Group and they had both volunteered to become members.  Jim agreed to write and thank Lisa Bero, Melissa Ober and Drummond Rennie for their involvement and contributions to the criticism management system.
Action:  Jim

15.   Next Chair/Co-Chairs of the Steering Group
Mike explained that his co-chairing with Jim was coming to an end in October 2004 and that the process for appointing a new Chair or Co-Chairs was to look first for someone from within the Steering Group.  After lengthy discussion, it was clear that there was overwhelming support for Jim and Kathie becoming the next Co-Chairs, given their willingness to stand, their proven track records and their complementary skills.  Jim agreed to stay on as Co-Chair until October 2005 and Kathie would serve from October 2004 to October 2006.  Mike agreed to work out a more formal process than currently exists for choosing new Co-Chairs, should a suitable person not be available within the Steering Group.  He will seek help from previous Chairs of the Collaboration (Dave Sackett, Peter Langhorne and Andy Oxman) in doing this, in time for the Steering Group to discuss the suggested process at its next meeting in Ottawa in October 2004.
Action:  Mike

16.   Developing countries initiative
David had asked Sally to speak to this item on his behalf.  This initiative had made slow progress, but Sally had received assurance at the recent Centre Directors’ meeting that several individuals would be moving forward on it soon.  Concerns were expressed that the members of this initiative had been discussing structure rather than making any real progress in facilitating increased developing country involvement in The Cochrane Collaboration.  The already approved budget of £5000 should continue to be made available for their use, on the understanding that progress would be reported to the Steering Group at their next meeting in Ottawa in October 2004.
Action:  David, Sally

17.   Cross-cultural team working within The Cochrane Collaboration
It was agreed that Michele Deeks’ document on cross-cultural team working is very useful, and should be made available to all entities following minor editing.  Jim agreed to write and thank Michele for producing this.  Jini was asked to send an electronic version of the document to all Steering Group members so that they can return it to her, indicating any suggested amendments.  Mike agreed to write a short summary of the document for its cover page, and Jini will then send it to all entities, and include it as an Appendix to The Cochrane Manual.    
Action:  Jim, Mike, Jini

18.   Proposal for MeerKat support and development
Mike and Sally declared conflicts of interest on this issue.  Mike had been involved in the development of the software and as Director of the UK Cochrane Centre was the current source of funding for support.  Sally noted that she had a potential conflict in that several CRGs in Australia are currently using this software, and she had provided a letter of support for the MeerKat Working Group’s proposal to the Steering Group meeting in Barcelona.  Mike noted that the decision of the UK Cochrane Centre to discontinue funding MeerKat was not because of doubts about the product but because of competing demands on the resources of the UK Cochrane Centre and the fact that the majority of users of MeerKat were not based in the UK.  Monica reported that MeerKat may possibly form the basis of software that can be incorporated into the Information Management System, but that the decision on whether the IMS will contain a single piece of software for managing specialised study-based registers has not yet been made.  This ties into the discussion about improving the quality of records in CENTRAL (see item 9).  Monica noted, though, that MeerKat might provide a pilot for such software.  On this basis, it was agreed that the core resources of The Cochrane Collaboration should be made available to provide support to those CRGs already using MeerKat, and to fix the bugs, but that support should not be provided to transfer additional CRGs to the software, because of the current uncertainty about what would be used within the new IMS and the possibility, therefore, that CRGs would need to undergo more than one transition.  With Monica’s input, Jim agreed to write to the MeerKat Working Group asking for a revised budget, and for more information on the bugs, including a more detailed breakdown of the costs of fixing them that would be categorised as essential and non-essential.
Action:  Monica, Jim

19.   Changes to the Constitution of The Cochrane Collaboration
Mike explained that changes to the Constitution (also known as the Memorandum and Articles of Association) need to be approved at an Annual General Meeting, and should therefore be sent to entities in advance of that meeting.  He explained that the Constitution had not been changed since it was first adopted and that changes are needed to bring it up-to-date.  Several amendments were agreed, which Jini noted on the printed document, and she will make the necessary changes to the electronic copy.  The earlier decision of the Steering Group (in February 2001) was endorsed that no entity representative can serve on the Steering Group for more than two consecutive terms, followed by a break of at least three years.  A clause should be added that the Collaboration has a Treasurer, who must be a member of the Steering Group.  Jim thanked Mike formally for tackling this issue, which had been outstanding for some time.  Jini would arrange for the ‘Constitution’ and the ‘Memorandum and Articles of Association’ to be cross-referenced on the Collaboration web site.  She was also asked to send Cochrane entities a ‘Track Changes’ version of the document before the AGM so that they can identify the changes more easily.    
Action:  Jini

20.   Reports to the Steering Group, and requested budgets

20.1      Publishing Policy Group (PPG): 
Mike commented on this item by noting that the document, 'The structure, remit and membership of groups accountable to the Steering Group', would need to be consulted about the current policy on whether the Convenor of the PPG must be a member of the Steering Group [i.e. elected], but that the Steering Group could alter this requirement if it wished to do so.
{Post hoc note: the current requirement is that the Convenor of the PPG must be a member of the Steering Group.} 
Nick agreed to ask the PPG to consider whether the Convenor should continue to be a member of the Steering Group when Mike steps down from the Steering Group in October 2004.  Mike agreed to ask the PPG to consider a recent request from Jos Kleijnen that the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination should be represented on the PPG.
Action:  Nick, Mike

20.2      Monitoring and Registration Group (MRG):  Kathie advised that when the MRG has completed the task of evaluating the criteria and checklist for registering a new entity with the Collaboration, it will turn its attention to thinking about what it can do to ensure that all entities fulfil their core functions.  Jini was asked to add this to the agenda of the next Steering Group meeting in Ottawa in October as a standalone item.  With regard to the gaps in the geographic coverage by Centres and gaps in coverage of health topics for reviews, Nick had taken on responsibility during the Steering Group meeting in Melbourne in April 2003 for trying to identify these.  He said that his responsibility to find infrastructure funding must remain his top priority, and asked for someone else to take on responsibility for identifying these gaps.  It was agreed that the issue of geographic coverage should be tackled first, and that the Applicability and Recommendations Methods Group should be asked to help in identifying gaps in the coverage of topics for review.  Kathie offered to ask the members of the MRG at their June meeting if the MRG would be willing to take on responsibility for leading this initiative.  Monica suggested that the Parent Database could be used to identify gaps where there are topics without reviews.  This is linked to priority setting of Collaborative Review Groups and also to the Funders’ Forum.  Mike asked the MRG to record basic information for an entity (for example, the number of members and amount of funding) if it is not formally monitored in any year.  The MRG’s requested budget of £10,000 for the financial year April 2004 to March 2005 was approved.
Action:  Jini, Kathie, Sally, Nick

20.3      Monitoring the Steering Group:  Peter described how he had convened a group of people to assess the performance of the Steering Group in 2001.  With Chris Silagy’s help he had obtained global representation from members and customers from both within and outside the Collaboration.  It was agreed that this exercise had been worthwhile, and that the Steering Group should next be monitored in 2005 in keeping with the proposal for reviewing the Strategic Plan.  Peter recommended that clearer terms of reference should be set in advance next time, so that people could respond on the performance of the Steering Group rather than on The Cochrane Collaboration as a whole.  Jini was asked to add this item to the agenda of the Steering Group meeting in Ottawa in October 2004, so that someone can be identified at that time to take on responsibility for ensuring that the Steering Group is monitored in 2005. 
Action:  Jini

20.4      Cochrane CENTRAL Advisory Group (CCAG):
 Jim thanked the members of the CCAG for their input in the past four months since the last Steering Group meeting in Barcelona.  It had been suggested to remove the word ‘Cochrane’ from the name of this advisory group, to conform to the format of the names of the Steering Group’s other advisory groups (none of which are prefaced by the word ‘Cochrane’).  However, because of the many places in which this name change would have to be reflected, it was agreed that the name should not be changed just for this reason.  The CCAG’s requested budget of £2000 for the financial year April 2004 to March 2005 was approved. 

20.5      Cochrane Library Users’ Group (CLUG):  Mike had written to thank Julie Glanville and other members of the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination formally for their management of this Group.  A new Convenor is currently being sought to replace Julie, and the Steering Group re-stated the importance of this Group.  A nominal budget of £1600 was agreed for the financial year April 2004 to March 2005, in anticipation of the new Convenor needing at least equal funds to those approved for the current financial year.
Action:  Mike

20.6      Colloquium Policy Advisory Group (CPAG):  The CPAG budget was under spent in the current year, as the amounts requested for visits to other Colloquium sites had not been needed.  The requested budget of £1000 for the financial year April 2004 to March 2005 was approved.

20.7      Criticism Management Advisory Group (CMAG):  Mike reported that two new Co-Convenors have recently been appointed, Richmal Oates-Whitehead and Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin.  This advisory group has not requested a budget in the past, but the Convenors should be encouraged to do so if they think it necessary.
Action:  Mike

20.8      Handbook Advisory Group (HAG):  Sally clarified that there would be a continuing need for an annual budget higher than that requested in past years, but that the first year would be the most costly.  This was because of the need to provide financial support for the substantial updating of the Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook that was necessary over the next few years.  Mike declared a conflict of interest in relation to this discussion because of the request that this funding should be made available to named staff at the UK Cochrane Centre, and did not participate in this discussion.  Nick reported that Wiley have expressed an interest in producing a print version of the Handbook, but Mike clarified that they do not have the right of first refusal (as they do for electronic products containing Cochrane reviews).  It was noted that any royalties from sales of the print version of the Handbook would be put back into this budget.  The HAG’s requested budget of £23,223 for the financial year April 2004 to March 2005 was approved.  It was agreed that the guidance on Cochrane reviews of diagnostic tests should be a separate document to the Handbook.  Sally agreed to work with Nick in taking forward the proposal for a print version of the Handbook and to report back at the Steering Group meeting in Ottawa.  The relationship and responsibilities of those co-ordinating production of the diagnostic reviews handbook with the HAG required clarification.

Action:  Sally 

20.9      Information Management System Group (IMSG):  Mike highlighted key features of this report. He noted that a revised remit was being considered for the ModMan Advisory Group, and it was agreed that Nancy Owens should be asked to have input into considering this.  Monica provided summary information on the requests that had been received for financial support for participation in the IMS training days that were taking place over the next few months.  It was agreed that it was appropriate for the IMS budget to cover these costs but that the funding should be restricted to that needed for attendance at the training day and not, for example, overnight accommodation that would allow the applicant to stay on for other meetings. It was also agreed that limited funding could be made available for attendance at the IMS workshops during the Cochrane Colloquium in Ottawa in October 2004 on the same conditions.  Monica reported that eight applications had been received for the posts of IMS support staff but that there were none from Australasia or North America.  The importance of having IMS support staff in these regions was agreed, and Monica proposed to re-advertise the posts (with a deadline of two weeks) to try to attract applicants from Australasia and North America, and to contact relevant Centres if there were no applicants.  The shortlisting panel would consist of Mike, Davina, and the IMS team, who would decide on the interview process. 

20.9.1   Changes in terminology:  It was agreed that, with effect from the introduction of RevMan 5 in 2006, the word ‘reviewer’ should be completely replaced with ‘author’ throughout the Collaboration’s documentation (i.e. in Cochrane reviews, the Handbook, the Manual, web site, etc.), and that a gradual change would happen with the gradual introduction of the new IMS through 2005.  Other changes in terminology should also be considered, such as changing ‘weighted mean difference (WMD)’ to ‘mean difference (MD)’, and changing ‘synopsis’ to ‘summary’.  Kathie would put out a message via CCInfo letting people know that these changes are being considered, and people should send their feedback to Sally as Co-Editor of the Handbook.  The IMSG’s requested budget of £17,604 for the financial year April 2004 to March 2005 was approved.    
Action:  Mike, Monica, Kathie, Sally
20.9.2   Funding for [IMSG] advisory groups: 
Jim declared an interest in this issue and did not participate in the discussion.  Mike stated that, although he was currently Convenor of the IMSG and the RevMan Advisory Group, the UK Cochrane Centre would not seek to claim reimbursement for his time spent on these roles and, therefore, he chaired this discussion.  The IMSG's suggestion that The Cochrane Collaboration should make funds available specifically to reimburse the time spent by Convenors of IMSG sub-groups on this work (in particular where this impacts on the workload within their Cochrane entity), was not accepted at this time.  However, in view of the importance of the development of the IMS, it was re-stated that Monica has a responsibility to ensure that the IMS budget is used to best effect for this purpose.  The Steering Group agreed that it was permissible for this to include reimbursing the costs associated with the Advisory Groups, providing that this keeps within the budget approved by The Cochrane Collaboration and is subject to Monica's approval as Director of the IMS (which is the case for all expenditure from the IMS budget).  The Steering Group will discuss the general issue of reimbursement of Convenors of Advisory Groups at its next meeting in Ottawa in October 2004, and Jini was asked to add this to the agenda.

             Action:  Monica, Jini


20.10    Quality Advisory Group:

20.10.1 Quality Improvement Manager’s Report: 
Sally explained that the first iteration of the web-based resource for CRGs had been completed, including obtaining permission from Collaborative Review Groups (CRGs) for their materials to be made available on the web site.  Dave Booker was working on creating all the appropriate links.  The CRG representatives on the Steering Group were about to be asked to comment on the site and approve it for distribution to all Collaborative Review Groups.  A small working group consisting of the Co-Convenors of the QAG and several members of CRGs had been convened to identify examples of best practice from the collated resources, and to identify areas where resources are needed.  Sally said she would be approaching a member of the ModMan Advisory Group to ask them to participate in this exercise, and the Australasian Cochrane Centre would be providing some assistance.  There will be ongoing updates of the site, which will contain examples of best practice for each CRG procedure, and projects will be undertaken to develop resources as needed. 
Action:  Sally

20.10.2 Copy editing projects:  Sally reported that the retrospective copy editing project will finish in March 2004, and the two prospective copy editing projects are about to draw to a close.  Sally recommended that Collaboration funds continue to be allocated to maintain the Cochrane Style Guide, and this was approved.  Wiley had presented three options for managing prospective copy editing in association with the submission of CRG modules:  To establish a submission deadline for reviewers in advance of the quarterly module deadline; to encourage CRGs to set a suitable deadline for each individual review, taking the module deadline into account and providing sufficient time for copy editing; and to consider delaying the publication date, but not the module submission date, by two weeks to allow time for copy editing, or bring the module submission date forward by one week and delay the publication date by one week, allowing two weeks for copy editing.  Sally reported that further discussions will take place with Wiley on 4 March 2004, and a firm proposal will be presented to the Executive for consideration.  It was stressed that the final decision on accepting or rejecting copy edits would continue to be the responsibility of the CRG editorial team.  It was noted that prospective copy editing could be requested as soon as a review had been approved for publication and did not need to wait for the module submission deadline.  The QAG’s requested budget of £1000 for the financial year April 2004 to March 2005 was approved. 
Action:  Sally

20.11    The Publication Arbiter:  David had reported that he had nothing to raise in his capacity as Publication Arbiter since the Barcelona Colloquium, except the ongoing work on one review.  He had asked that there be a second Arbiter to cover for him in case of his unavailability, and this was agreed.  Jim would ask him to consider who could fulfil this role.
Action:  Jim
20.12    Campbell Collaboration liaison:  Kathie and Peter reported on the recent Campbell Colloquium in Washington DC, USA, which they had both attended.  The Campbell Collaboration currently had no infrastructure funding.  The Campbell Collaboration Steering Group had decided to register the Cochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group and the Cochrane Economics Methods Group jointly with The Cochrane Collaboration.  Geraldine Macdonald (co-ordinating editor of the Cochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group) had recently resigned from the Campbell Collaboration Steering Group.  The next Campbell Collaboration Steering Group meeting would be on 20-21 May 2004 in Philadelphia, USA.  Their next Colloquium would take place in February 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal.  Peter suggested that correspondence in future should be sent jointly to Bob Boruch and Haluk Soyden, the Co-Chairs of The Campbell Collaboration, to maximise the likelihood of a response.   
Action:  Kathie, Peter

21.              Reports from entity representatives:

 21.1     Collaborative Review Group issues:

21.1.1   Plagiarism within Cochrane reviews:  Mike presented the paper he had prepared with Paul Garner, Jimmy Volmink and Harriet MacLehose. It was agreed that a policy document should be prepared on plagiarism, articulating the Collaboration’s policy that plagiarism is unacceptable in Cochrane reviews, describing what plagiarism is and how it should be dealt with.  Mike agreed to contact Paul Garner, Drummond Rennie and David Henderson-Smart (as Publication Arbiter) for suggestions on identifying or preparing the policy document.  He was also asked to identify someone whose first language is other than English to help with this.  The policy on plagiarism should be included in the Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook.   
Action:  Mike

21.2      Methods Group issues:

                        21.2.1   Cochrane reviews of diagnostic tests:  The Steering Group had agreed at its Melbourne meeting in April 2003 to allocate £5000 from core funds to meet the costs of the diagnostic tests working group and to support a consultative meeting of methodologists organised by the Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group before the Barcelona Colloquium in October 2003.  The importance of this initiative was re-stated and it was agreed to provide core funding for one day per week of work for six months to support its development.  The amount of £2563 would come from the £5000 allocated in April 2003, and it was agreed to provide a further amount of £2563 from core funds.  It was agreed that it would be appropriate for Jon Deeks to do this work, and that Jini should organise payment through the UK Cochrane Centre.  Jon did not take part in any of the discussion of this item; Mike declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in the discussion of the role of the UK Cochrane Centre.
Action:  Jini

21.3    Field/Network issues:  Vittorio was thanked for participating in this Steering Group meeting in the absence of an elected representative of Fields/Networks.  He reported that he had not been asked to raise any issues on behalf of members of the Cochrane Fields/Networks. 

21.4    Centre issues:

21.4.1   Francophone Cochrane Initiative: 
Kathie reported on the recent meetings with representatives of the initiative to form a French branch of the Italian Cochrane Centre, and a network involving countries where there are French-speaking contributors.  She reported that the translation of documents was accepted as a priority and that it had been agreed that a single French version of each would be sufficient as a first step (rather than separate translation in the different variants of French).  Further meetings would take place during the European Contributors’ Meeting in Amsterdam in May 2004 and during the Ottawa Colloquium in October 2004.  Monica confirmed that the contact details of French-speaking people could be obtained from the Contact Database.  It was confirmed that it is acceptable for the Contact Database to be used to advise people about the Ottawa Colloquium.
Action:  Kathie

21.4.2      Report from the Centre Directors’ meeting:            Review title registration system:  Sally reported that the Dutch Cochrane Centre has agreed to take over responsibility for the management of the web-based system for registering new review titles.  It was agreed that use of this system needs to be mandatory for all CRGs, because it is not useful unless it is comprehensive.  Sally reported that there is wide variability in CRGs as to the permissible period of time between title registration and protocol submission:  it was agreed that this is an issue for individual CRGs which should be described in the editorial process part of their module.  This was suggested as something for discussion at the next Co-ordinating Editors’ meeting, as some authors had complained about the variation between CRGs in the length of time between registering a review title and publishing its protocol and Peter agreed to add it to that agenda. 
Action:  Peter            Guiding principles for staff:  Thanks to work done by Centre Directors and staff, the Cochrane Manual now includes a document on ‘Guiding principles for Centre Directors and Centre staff’.  Sally reported that this had been an extremely useful process, and it was recommended that CRGs might consider preparing a similar document. 
Action:  Peter, Davina            Minutes of Steering Group sub-group meetings:  Centre Directors had asked whether minutes of Executive teleconferences could be made publicly available.  Jim reported that the Executive had discussed this on several occasions in the past, and had agreed that it would take a great deal of work to make these minutes (which are often written in note form and are not as self-explanatory as the minutes of the Steering Group meetings) sufficiently understandable for general availability: they lack background information on the issues discussed. In addition, they occasionally deal with sensitive issues.  Sally would go back to the Centre Directors with the suggestion of making the Executive and Publishing Policy Group agendas available via the Collaboration web site, so that people could contact one of the Chairs to find out the outcome of any particular discussion. 
Action:  Sally            The Collaboration leaflet and brochure:  Mike agreed to investigate, with Jini’s help, whether the small Collaboration leaflet needs updating.  If amendments are made, these would be highlighted, using the ‘Track Changes’ facility, for those who translate the leaflet.  It was agreed that the Collaboration brochure is now out of date and should be removed from the web site, but that printed copies could continue to be distributed.  Mike agreed to investigate how much work it would be to update it, and who might be best placed to undertake this task. 
Action:  Mike, Jini            Future Colloquia:  Offers had been made at the Centre Directors’ meeting to host the next three Colloquia after Melbourne:  see item 24.3 below.

21.5   Consumer Network:  The two Consumer Network representatives on the Steering Group raised no issues for discussion, since they agreed that any items they wished to discuss were covered elsewhere on the agenda of this meeting.

22.  Issues to be raised by Trading Company Directors:

22.1      Key dates in 2004:  Monica drew the Steering Group’s attention to the table of key dates, and said that this would be updated regularly and provided to them with the agendas of their future meetings.  Nick and Monica reported that it was no longer appropriate to consider dissolving the Trading Company because the anticipated change in company law in the UK has not taken place, and therefore a trading company is still required.  Monica reported that Jos Kleijnen has announced his intention to resign as a Director of the Trading Company at the next Annual General Meeting in Ottawa in October 2004.  The two other Directors (Peter Langhorne and Monica) had asked Mike, who will fulfil the traditional requirements of being an ex-member of the Steering Group and ex-Treasurer, to replace Jos.  Mike had agreed to take on this responsibility.
Action:  Mike


23.  The next three Steering Group meetings:

23.1      Ottawa, 1 and 4 October 2004: 
The Steering Group will meet for a full day (9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.) on Friday 1 October 2004, and from 10.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on Monday 4 October 2004.  The Annual General Meetings, which all outgoing and incoming Steering Group members should attend, will take place from 3.30 to 5.30 p.m. on Sunday 3 October 2004.

The Centre Directors had decided to meet for a full day, concurrently with the Steering Group meeting, on 1 October 2004.  The Centre Directors on the Steering Group will therefore designate a deputy to attend the Centre Directors’ meeting on their behalf, and to give a report to the Steering Group at its second meeting on 4 October.  Sally agreed to inform the Centre Directors of the need to do this.

Action:  Sally    

23.2      Providence, 2-4 April 2005: 
The dates of this meeting were noted.

23.3      Melbourne, 22-26 October 2005: The Steering Group agreed to hold their meeting over one and a half days, as usual, during the Melbourne Colloquium, rather than three half-days.

24.   Cochrane Colloquia:

24.1      Ottawa:  2-6 October 2004:  Kathie advised that they are planning for 1000 participants at the Ottawa Colloquium.  There were no other issues to discuss at this time.

24.2      Melbourne:  22-26 October 2005:  Sally advised that they are planning for 800 participants at the Melbourne Colloquium.  There were no other issues to discuss at this time.

24.3      Bids from potential hosts of future Colloquia: 

(i)  The German Cochrane Centre had withdrawn its offer to host the Colloquium in 2006 (but see (iii) below).  Instead, Mike said that the UK Cochrane Centre would be prepared to host the Colloquium that year in Dublin, Ireland, but that this would need to be restricted to a maximum of 800 people because of the size of available conference facilities.  He would send a formal proposal to the Executive within the next few weeks.  
Action:  Mike

(ii) The Brazilian Cochrane Centre has offered to host the 2007 Colloquium, possibly in S
ão Paulo.  Jim agreed to write to Alvaro Atallah to accept his offer and ask for more information as to the location and dates, and to recommend that he seek the advice of the Colloquium Policy Advisory Group on issues such as the optimum size and format for the Brazilian Colloquium. 
Action:  Jim

(iii) The German Cochrane Centre has offered to host the 2008 Colloquium, in a location yet to be decided.  Gerd was also encouraged to seek the advice of the Colloquium Policy Advisory Group on the optimum size and format for the German Colloquium.
Action:  Gerd

The Steering Group was very pleased to accept these three offers.  It was acknowledged that the Colloquium Policy Advisory Group has yet to report on their evaluation of the Colloquium 'experiments' conducted in Stavanger and Barcelona.

25.   Proposal for collaboration on a book series:  
Mike clarified that reviewers retain the print rights on their reviews.  It was agreed that it was not appropriate for the Collaboration to require a share of royalties on the sales of book products.  Nick was asked to seek clarification that any understanding between the Collaboration and a publisher on a book series would not require exclusivity in relation to books based on Cochrane reviews, since the Collaboration was not in a position to grant such exclusivity.  Nick agreed to ask the publishers who had already expressed an interest in a book series to expand on their proposals and bring them back to the Publishing Policy Group and later to the full Steering Group.  He was asked to encourage approaches from additional publishers.     
Action:  Nick

26.   Support for the International Standardized Randomized Controlled Trials Numbering scheme (ISRCTN) of Current Controlled Trials by The Cochrane Collaboration
Gerd declared a conflict as he chairs the international advisory group of Current Controlled Trials, who are responsible for ISRCTN.  Davina also declared a conflict, as she is involved in an application to establish an Australian register of trials.  Gerd explained that the ISRCTN is the only global system of prospective registration of trials.  The Steering Group very strongly endorsed the prospective registration of trials in principle, of which this is one scheme, and the only international one at present.  It was felt that requiring a payment to register a trial was a barrier to registration.  Gerd, Mike and Davina agreed to work together and bring a suggestion for a Cochrane Collaboration statement to the Executive.
Action:  Gerd, Mike, Davina

27.   Cochrane Collaboration archive
Jon Newman, archive consultant to the Collaboration, had made three recommendations:

(i) that the Steering Group welcomes the initiative of the University of Wales College of Medicine (UWCM) to set up the Centre for the History of Evaluation in Health Care (CHEHC) as “an internationally recognised resource for the history of evidence-based healthcare”;

(ii) that the Steering Group supports the deposit of Sir Iain Chalmers’ papers with UWCM and looks forward to receiving a copy of the catalogue of these papers upon completion; and

(iii)  that it delegates Jon Newman, archive consultant to The Cochrane Collaboration, to explore and agree an effective mechanism for establishing and maintaining a dialogue with UWCM on the possible future deposit of this organisation’s archive.

The Steering Group approved these three recommendations.  Jini should ask Jon Newman to provide a breakdown of costs for implementing the third recommendation, to be brought to the Executive for approval.  In addition to the Secretariat, Cochrane entities also have a wealth of archival material that they should keep until a central Collaboration archive has been established.  Jini should advise Kay Dickersin to continue to keep the materials that have already been archived by the US Cochrane Center, rather than to consider moving them to the U.K. 
Action:  Jini

28.   Spreadsheet of CCSG members’ outstanding action items
Jini drew attention to the fact that the action items spreadsheet provided with the agenda was incomplete.  She would arrange for the full spreadsheet to be e-mailed to the Steering Group after the meeting.  All members should let the Secretariat know when any of their action items have been completed.
Action:  Jini, Everyone

29.   Any other business:

29.1  Declarations of interests:  It was agreed that ‘Declaration of interests’ was the preferred term to be used for these statements by the Steering Group (rather than ‘conflicting’ or ‘competing’ interests).  The declarations that the Steering Group and Secretariat staff had recently provided (see the Appendix to these minutes) have been included in the Collaboration module and will therefore be published in Issue 2, 2004 of The Cochrane Library; and, updated as necessary, in future issues of The Cochrane Library.  Jini was asked to remind everyone a fortnight in advance of each module submission deadline in case they wish to update their declaration.
Action:  Jini
29.2  Thanks from the Co-Chairs:  Jim thanked the Steering Group on behalf of himself and Mike for keeping so focused throughout this two-and-a-half-day meeting.  He also thanked Jini for recording the minutes, and Claire and Kim for preparing the agenda materials.

30.   Thanks to the host
Jim said he would write to thank Alessandro Liberati and the staff of the Italian Cochrane Centre, in particular Laura Coe, for their warm hospitality and for the superb facilities that had been provided for this meeting.

Action:  Jim


Declarations of interests, CCSG and Secretariat

February 28 2004




GERD ANTES, Centre Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member of Publishing Policy Group; Steering Group representative on Information Management System Group; Director, German Cochrane Centre:


Gerd Antes is employed by the University Hospital Freiburg, as Director of the German Cochrane Centre. This contract is not limited in the sense that the employment will last until his retirement, but the position can be changed by the employer.


The University Hospital Freiburg is Gerd’s source of regular income. In addition he has received and receives payment for speaking and for writing from some journals and from some organisations, including manufacturers of health care products. All payments are on a one-off basis and there are no regular or long-lasting personal relationships with any organisation.  He is Chair of the Advisory Board of Current Controlled Trials, and receives an annual retainer and travel expenses for this work.


The German Cochrane Centre has been and is supported by manufacturers of health care products, health insurances and a large hospital association to conduct projects and to organize meetings and conferences.


Gerd Antes has played a central role in setting up the German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine and is now co-chair of the Network. This not-for-profit organisation has 28 supporting organisations, across all stakeholders of the German health care system, including pharmaceutical companies. The network is heavily dependent on this support and could not offer some services without this support. In particular, the network offers the lowest priced access to The Cochrane Library in Germany to its members.


There are no financial links to manufacturers of health care products or other stakeholders of the health care system. He does not believe that any religious, political or other beliefs he may hold have a strong biasing influence on any of his work.



KATHIE CLARK, Centre Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Co-Convenor, Monitoring and Registration Group; Member, Colloquium Policy Advisory Group; Member, Consumer Network; Member, Musculoskeletal Collaborative Review Group:


Kathie Clark is Co-Director of The Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre (CCN/C). She is employed full-time by the CCN/C which is currently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and received donations in 2003 from six Canadian chiropractic organizations. Kathie is not aware of any potential conflicts of interest.



MIKE CLARKE, Co-Chair, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Director, UK Cochrane Centre; Co-Co-ordinating Editor, Cochrane Methodology Review Group; Editor, Breast Cancer Collaborative Review Group; Co-Convenor, Cochrane Individual Patient Data Meta-analyses Methods Group:


Mike Clarke is employed by the Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust on behalf of the Department of Health in England, as Director of the UK Cochrane Centre for four days per week. This is a fixed term contract, the renewal of which is dependent upon the value placed upon his work, that of the Centre, and of The Cochrane Collaboration more widely by the Department of Health. He is also employed by Cancer Research UK to work one day per week at the Clinical Trial Service Unit, University of Oxford, primarily on systematic reviews of treatments for early breast cancer. He prepares a regular contribution for the National electronic Library for Health in the UK, for which he receives payment. He is also paid for teaching on the University of Oxford's MSc in Evidence Based Health Care course and for supervising postgraduate students. He is not paid to act in any of his roles that relate to the central organisation of The Cochrane Collaboration. He has not knowingly received any personal funding direct from manufacturers of health care products, and cannot recall accepting any hospitality from such companies, but he will correct any errors in regard to this as soon as they are brought to his attention. He has received payment for speaking and for writing from some journals and organisations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He referees for several Cochrane Collaborative Review Groups, journals and funding agencies, and has received little or no financial remuneration for any of this work. Neither he, nor his immediate family, hold any shares or stocks in any company. Members of his family have experienced specific health problems which influence some of the choices he makes with regard to the work that he does. He does not believe that any religious, political or other beliefs he may hold have a strong biasing influence on any of his work, apart from his desire to help people achieve better health through well-informed decision-making.



MARK DAVIES, Collaborative Review Group Representative (of Cochrane Reviewers), Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Cochrane Collaboration Publishing Policy Group; Member, Cochrane Collaboration Quality Advisory Group; Reviewer, Anaesthesia, Neonatal and Skin Collaborative Review Groups; Peer Reviewer, Anaesthesia Collaborative Review Group:


Mark Davies is a consultant neonatologist: part of his income is derived from private practice in neonatology. He has acted as a consultant to BMJ Books reviewing manuscripts and proposals; but no other for-profit companies. As far as he is aware he has no shares in any company with health care interests. He recently co-edited and published 'Pocket notes on neonatology' (ISBN 0-9750756-0-8) where the printing costs were partially met by grants from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Pty Ltd and Abbott Australasia Pty Ltd. He is not aware of any other potential conflicts of interest.



JON DEEKS, Methods Group Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Co-Convenor, Statistical Methods Group:


Jon Deeks is funded four days per week by a career award from the UK Department of Health. He receives payment from the British Medical Journal for statistical reviewing and attending editorial meetings. Jon currently has no industry links, but has previously worked as a paid methodological consultant for Pfizer and Smith Kline Biologicals.



VITTORIO DEMICHELI, former Fields Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member Cochrane Vaccines Field; Representative of Fields at Steering Group meeting in Bergamo, Italy, 29 February, 1 and 2 March 2004:


Vittorio Demicheli is director of the Unit of Epidemiology of ASL 20 Alessandria. He is employed full-time by the Local Authority of the Italian National Health Service. The Epidemiology Unit receives funds from the Regional Authority and research grants from regional and national bodies within the NHS. Vittorio is not aware of any potential conflict of interest.



DAVINA GHERSI, Collaborative Review Group Representative (of Review Group Co-ordinators and Trials Search Co-ordinators), Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Editor and Review Group Co-ordinator, Cochrane Breast Cancer Collaborative Review Group; Member, Cochrane Cancer Network; Member, Cochrane CENTRAL Advisory Group; Member, Steering Group Executive; Reviewer, Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Collaborative Review Group; Advisory Board Member, Methodology Collaborative Review Group; Convenor, Prospective Meta-Analysis Methods Group:


Davina Ghersi is RGC and an Editor of the Cochrane Breast Cancer Group, and Co-Convenor of the Prospective Meta-Analysis Methods Group, neither of which receive funds from for-profit organisations. She does not act as a consultant to any for-profit organisation and has no shares in any company with health care interests.



SALLY GREEN, Centre Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Director, Australasian Cochrane Centre; Reviewer, Musculoskeletal Collaborative Review Group; Co-Convenor, Quality Advisory Group, Handbook Advisory Group, and Monitoring and Registration Group:


Sally Green is employed by Monash University as Director of the Australian Cochrane Centre for four days per week. The Centre is fully funded by a grant from the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. One day a week she conducts private physiotherapy practice in a practice of which she is the sole owner. She has no shares in any other company with health care interests. Sally Green holds research grants from the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, the Australian National Institute of Clinical Studies, Andrology Australia and the Wellcome Trust, all not-for-profit organisations. She is paid a nominal fee for supervising postgraduate students, marking academic work, and contributing to journals. She has not knowingly received any personal funding direct from manufacturers of health care products, but has been co-investigator of a clinical trial in which one intervention was supplied free of charge by Sigma Pharmaceuticals.



DAVID HENDERSON-SMART, Collaborative Review Group Representative (for all members of Collaborative Review Groups) and Publication Arbiter, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member of the Steering Group of the Australasian Cochrane Centre; Chair of the Renal Review Group Advisory Board; Member and Australasian Coordinator of the Neonatal Collaborative Review Group; Member of Pregnancy and Childbirth Collaborative Review Group; Member of the Effective Practice and Organization of Care Collaborative Review Group:


David Henderson-Smart is Director of the Centre for Perinatal Health Services Research at the University of Sydney. His salary is provided by New South Wales Health through the Central Sydney Area Health Service, where he is a member of the Department of Neonatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He is an advisor to the NSW Health and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. He is a member of the executive of the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network, which receives funding from Abbott Australia to run its database. He does not currently act as a consultant to any for-profit organisation and has no shares in any company.



STEFF LEWIS, Collaborative Review Group Representative (for all members of Collaborative Review Groups), Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Editor, Stroke Collaborative Review Group; Member, Monitoring and Registration Group; Co-Convenor, Statistical Methods Group; Member, Cochrane CENTRAL Management Advisory Group:


Steff Lewis is a statistician based in a clinical trials unit in Scotland, UK. As part of this role, she is the trial statistician for a clinical trial funded by PPP, but with some active drug and placebo supplied by Boehringer Ingelheim free of charge. She is also the trial statistician for a trial funded by Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and the Medical Research Council, but with medical devices provided free of charge by Tycohealthcare. She does not currently act as a consultant to any for-profit organisation and has no shares in any company.



JIM NEILSON, Co-Chair, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Co-ordinating Editor, Pregnancy and Childbirth Collaborative Review Group; Peer Reviewer, Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Collaborative Review Group; Convenor, Steering Group Executive; Member, Publishing Policy Group; Member, Handbook Advisory Group:


Jim Neilson is co-principal investigator of a clinical trial in Malawi, funded by the Wellcome Trust, but with active drug and placebo supplied by Pfizer free of charge. He does not act as a consultant to any for-profit organisation and has no shares in any company with health care interests. He does no private clinical practice but does act as a remunerated expert in some legal cases, usually involving claims about obstetric origins of cerebral palsy.



JORDI PARDO, Centre Staff Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Administrator, Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre; Member, Colloquium Policy Advisory Group; Member, Publishing Policy Group:


Jordi Pardo is the Administrator of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre. He is employed full-time by the Fundación de Gestió Sanitària de l'Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a private not-for-profit charity. The Centre receives support from several sources, including pharmaceutical companies, as listed in the Centre's module in The Cochrane Library and on the Centre's web site (http://www.cochrane.es). Jordi does not believe that any religious, political or other beliefs he holds have a strong biasing influence on any of his work. Neither he, nor his immediate family, hold any shares or stock in any company. Jordi is not aware of any other potential conflicts of interest.



SILVANA SIMI, Consumer Network Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Member, Steering Group Executive; Editor, Multiple Sclerosis Collaborative Review Group; Consumer Representative, Multiple Sclerosis Collaborative Review Group; Member, Cochrane Consumer Network Governing Council:


Silvana Simi has a stable position as a senior researcher at the Italian National Research Council. As far as she can remember, she has never received funding directly from manufacturers of health care products in her research career. She recently received payment and hospitality for giving a seminar from GenPharmTox, a biotechnology company, established by a former colleague at Munchen University. She does not act as a consultant to any for-profit organization, and has no shares in any company with health care interests. One of her current research projects is to study the mechanisms of in vitro genotoxicity of complex mixtures such as cigarette smoke condensate: this project has been financed by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture. A member of her family is suffering from a severe disease which can influence choices in the work she does.



PETER TUGWELL, Co-ordinating Editor Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; Co-ordinating Editor, Musculoskeletal Collaborative Review Group:


Peter Tugwell has received travel and research support from dozens of pharmaceutical firms (PFs) for over thirty years. This support has permitted research associates to work on methodologic projects of no commercial interest, has supported students and fellows who otherwise would not have been able to get an education, and has provided partial support for the planning and organization of scientific meetings in which the funder had no say about subject matter, content, or speakers. He has never received personal salary research support or awards from PFs. He was principal investigator for randomized trials of cyclosporine published in the Lancet and NEJM; these were funded in part but never in whole by PFs who had no access to the emerging data, no control over whether or when the studies stopped, and no veto power over any publications or presentations. The Musculoskeletal Collaborative Review Group has received unrestricted grants for staff support in carrying out systematic reviews, a number of which failed to draw favorable conclusions about donor's drugs. While Chair of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, Peter prohibited PFs from solo support of department educational rounds or from any say in content. He also enforced a policy of using generic names. When he served on the US Government National Science Panel examining the relationship between silicone breast implants and connective tissue disorders, he was certified by a U.S. District Court Judge to be free of any industry influence.



JANET WALE, Consumer Network Representative, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group; a freelance editor and consumer representative on Commonwealth of Australia and Western Australian health committees; a consumer for the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections, Anaesthesia, Musculoskeletal, Musculoskeletal Injuries, and Heart Collaborative Review Groups, and a member of the Cochrane Consumer Network:


Janet has no conflicts of interest to declare.





Claire Allen, Deputy Administrator, Cochrane Collaboration Secretariat; Consumer (commenting on protocols and reviews) with the Ear, Nose & Throat, Peripheral Vascular Diseases, Airways, and Acute Respiratory Infections Collaborative Review Groups; Member of the Complementary Medicine Field Advisory Board; Reviewer in the Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group; Consumer on a randomised controlled trial of acupuncture for migraine funded by the NHS; Consumer on the NHS Priorities Project for Complementary Therapies for Cancer funded by the NHS; Commentator on 'Hot Topics' for Hilda Bastian's web site.  Claire Allen is not aware of any potential conflicts of interest.


Jini Hetherington, Administrator, Cochrane Collaboration Secretariat:  Jini Hetherington holds no stocks or shares, and is not aware of any potential conflicts of interest.


Kim Pollard, Administrative Assistant, Cochrane Collaboration Secretariat:  Kim Pollard holds no stocks or shares, and is not aware of any potential conflicts of interest.


Nick Royle, Chief Executive Officer, The Cochrane Collaboration; Member, Campbell and Cochrane Economic Methods Group; Member, Cochrane Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group:  As part of his role as Chief Executive Officer, Nick Royle has a responsibility for developing strategic alliances and for developing new and maintaining existing funding for The Cochrane Collaboration.  As such he is precluded from participating in the process of developing the Collaboration’s policy on conflicts of interest, but will take a major role in its implementation.  He does not currently act as a consultant to any organisation, although he has formerly been a member of government committees on drug and alcohol misuse, and advised organisations involved in helping those with drug and alcohol misuse problems.  With the exception of a small number of shares in a household and general insurance company obtained as a result of a privatisation he holds no direct shares in any company, but has investments in general funds such as pension funds and no knowledge of which companies these invest in.




Monica Kjeldstrøm, Director of the Cochrane Collaboration Information Management System; Director of the Collaboration Trading Company; Member of the Publishing Policy Group; Member of the Information Management System Group, The ModMan Advisory Group and the RevMan Advisory Group; Member of the Quality Advisory Group; Reviewer, Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group:.


Monica Kjeldstrøm is employed by the Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, as Director of the Cochrane Collaboration Information Management System.  Her employment is permanent but her position can be changed by the Rigshospitalet.  The Rigshospitalet provides her only source of income.  Monica Kjeldstrøm was given, and continues to hold, shares in a small Danish biotechnology company, but is unable to trade in these and does not derive any income from them.  She will not influence the conduct of any review in which this company might have a financial interest.




Appendix to the minutes of the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group meeting held in Bergamo, Italy, on 29 February 2004

Following is the record of additional discussion, omitted by mistake from the published minutes of this meeting (see http://www.cochrane.org/ccsg/index.htm).

1. Sponsorship of Colloquia: Colloquia are Collaboration activities undertaken by Centres on behalf of The Cochrane Collaboration as a whole. There is an existing Collaboration policy on sponsorship of Colloquia, and the CCSG representatives on the Colloquium Policy Advisory Group will ask that Group to reconsider this in light of the new policy on commercial sponsorship, so that recommendations can be brought to the next Steering Group meeting in Ottawa in October 2004. The organisers of the Ottawa Colloquium should continue to operate under the existing policy.
Action: Kathie [Clark], Jordi [Pardo]

2. Conduct research to look for evidence of influence in various sectors: It was agreed that the conduct or commissioning of this research was not something that The Cochrane Collaboration should sponsor. It was agreed that it would be helpful for CRGs to record the effect of redoing a review on its results and conclusions, but that this should not be done if it adds too greatly to the burden on CRGs.

3. Central fund or foundation: It was agreed to explore the creation of a central fund or foundation into which unrestricted donations could be made. Nick [Royle] was asked to explore the practicalities of establishing regional as well as central foundations, in time for the Steering Group to come to decisions on this at its next meeting in Ottawa in October 2004. He should include various options as to what sources of commercial funding would be acceptable, and limits to the amounts of such funding.
Action: Nick

4. Commercial sponsorship: It was agreed that a statement should be issued to the members of The Cochrane Collaboration after this meeting. This should note the very large amount of feedback received and the need for some further work on the policy document about commercial funding. The statement would mention that this is a complex issue, that it had been possible to reach decisions about some issues but not others. It was agreed that the decisions should remain confidential until the revised policy document could be circulated to The Cochrane Collaboration to ensure that all entities had access to this information at the same time and in the same words. There should be sign-off of the document by the Executive in their next teleconference on 23 March 2004 after CCSG feedback, i.e. within the next four weeks, and the policy should be released to the Collaboration shortly thereafter. Jim [Neilson] would take the lead in preparing this policy document. The Steering Group would identify two people to form a funding arbitration panel, joining one member of the Steering Group. Mark [Davies] agreed to take on the role of Steering Group member, if infrastructure support could be provided. At the same time as the policy is released, Cochrane entities will be asked for additional feedback on the funding of Centres. It was agreed that feedback from Centres in relation to their funding should encompass the views of all staff and Branches, not solely the opinion of the Director of the Centre. Jim agreed to send out a brief statement to all entities saying that the Steering Group had discussed this whole issue, and that the policy would be disseminated to them within a month.
Action: Jim

5. Suggestion to publish (anonymised or named) comments made during the consultation [about commercial sponsorship] and/or relevant evidence on The Cochrane Collaboration's web site: It was agreed not to do either of these things.

6. Declarations of interest: There was some discussion as to whether everyone involved in the review process (including editors and referees) should make declarations of interest in Cochrane reviews. This issue was deferred until there could be broader discussion at the next Steering Group meeting in Ottawa in October 2004.

7. Reprint sales of Cochrane reviews: It was agreed that reviewers and Collaborative Review Groups should not receive royalties on sales of reprints of their reviews, since these sales were likely to have been made to commercial sources and might, therefore, be assumed to be direct sponsorship of the review or Group. The current policy that royalties on these sales go to the Collaboration centrally, via the Collaboration Trading Company, will continue. If a foundation is established, the possibility that such income should go into it should be discussed.

8. Bulk sales of The Cochrane Library: Wiley should continue to be encouraged to make bulk sales of The Cochrane Library and derivative products to commercial sources. Nick [Royle] was asked to require Wiley to provide information regularly on who has made the bulk purchases.
Action: Nick

9. Publishing versions of Cochrane reviews in print journals: David [Henderson-Smart] drew attention to a comment someone had made about the perceived increased difficulty of publishing versions of Cochrane reviews in print journals. Jim [Neilson] agreed to write to this person to ask for more details.
Action: Jim