Minutes of meeting of the

Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group

Melbourne, Australia
31 March to 2 April 2003

[These minutes were approved by the Steering Group Executive on 15 May 2003]

Subject Item

Advisory Group, CENTRAL/CCTR


[Advisory] Group, Cochrane Library Users’


Advisory Group, Colloquium Policy


Advisory Group, Criticism Management


Advisory Group, Handbook


Advisory Group, Information Management System


Advisory Group, Quality


Annual General Meetings


Archiving of The Cochrane Collaboration


Campbell Collaboration, liaison


Centres, branches or networks of


Centres, report from entity representative


Centres, responsibilities of Directors and staff


Chief Executive Officer, introduction of


Cochrane Library (The), inclusion of reviews of diagnostic accuracy


Cochrane Library (The), suggestions for a new graphic of


Cochrane Library (The), pricing of


Cochrane Reviews, consumer synopses in


Cochrane Reviews, costs of producing individual


Cochrane Reviews, industry funding of


Cochrane Reviews of diagnostic accuracy


Cochrane Reviews, outcome specific


Cochrane Reviews submitted via the Chinese Cochrane Centre


Cochrane Reviews, transparency of title registration


Collaborative Review Groups, module deadline in November 2003


Collaborative Review Groups, report from entity representative


Colloquia, Barcelona 2003


Colloquia, Melbourne, 2005


Colloquia, Ottawa 2004


Comments and criticisms, process of


Conflicts of interest

3, 13, 14

Conflicts of interest, declarations by Steering Group members


Constitution, changes to the


Consumer Network


Consumer Network, Cochraneconsumer web site


Consumer Network, restructuring of


Developing countries initiative


Fellowship, Cochrane Collaboration


Fields/Networks, report from entity representative


Finance, contingency and discretionary fund expenditure


Finance, current situation


Finance, estimated expenditure for 2003 –2004


Finance, expenditure agreed at this meeting


Finance, sub and advisory group requested budgets


Funders’ Forum


Funding, application to the EU Sixth Framework


Information Management System, progress report and development of


Media strategy for the Cochrane Collaboration


Methods Groups, report from entity representative


Monitoring and Registration Group, report and budget from


Ombudsman/Arbiter, Publication


Publishing, new arrangement for


Publishing Policy Group


Quality Improvement Manager, report and recommendations from


Steering Group, mid-year meeting of


Steering Group, monitoring of


Steering Group, outstanding action items


Strategic Plan


Trading Company, report from Directors of


Treasurer, report and financial statements


Web site, development of


Web site, Cochraneconsumer



Minutes of meeting of the

Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group

Melbourne, Australia
31 March to 2 April 2003

[These minutes were approved by the Steering Group Executive on 15 May 2003]

Present: Gerd Antes, Kathie Clark, Mike Clarke (Co-Chair), Mark Davies, Jon Deeks, Vittorio Demicheli, Davina Ghersi, Sally Green, David Henderson-Smart, Steff Lewis, Jim Neilson (Co-Chair), Samuel Ochieng, Jordi Pardo, and Peter Tugwell.

In attendance: Hilda Bastian (for item 31.1 only), Jini Hetherington (minutes), Monica Kjeldstrøm (Director of the Information Management System), Nick Royle (Chief Executive Officer), and Janet Wale (representing the Governing Council of the Cochrane Consumer Network, for item 25 only).

  1. Welcomes, apologies for absence, and approval of the agenda
    Jim welcomed everyone to the meeting, and gave apologies from Silvana Simi who was unable to attend; the agenda was approved. Jim thanked Jini and Claire for producing the agenda material. He introduced Nick Royle, Chief Executive Officer, and Monica Kjeldstrøm, Director of the Information Management System.
  2. Introduction of Nick Royle, the Chief Executive Officer
    Jim said there had been very strong applicants for the post of Chief Executive Officer, and that he was delighted that Nick had accepted this position. Everyone introduced themselves to Nick, who thanked the Steering Group for giving him this opportunity, at a time of important change for The Cochrane Collaboration. He said that he would be paying particular attention to prioritisation and strategy.
  3. Declarations by Steering Group members of potential conflicts of interest
    Members were invited to identify any potential conflicts of interest. It was agreed that Steering Group members drawing a salary specifically to do Cochrane work had a potential conflict of interest. Peter noted that he had multiple potential conflicts of interest. Mike noted that as Director of the UK Cochrane Centre he had a potential conflict with regard to his role in supporting the large number of UK-based Cochrane entities. Monica noted that The Cochrane Collaboration provides financial support to development of the Cochrane Information Management System under her supervision; she also said that she could speak for the Directors of the Collaboration Trading Company at this meeting if necessary, and advised that she would withdraw from any discussions relating to Cochrane Centre staff.
  4. Matters arising from minutes of previous meeting, not on this agenda

    Item 14: Duplication of effort resulting from outcome-specific Cochrane reviews
    Jon explained that he was in the process of preparing two brief examples of outcome-specific reviews, to circulate to Co-ordinating Editors and Review Group Co-ordinators (RGCs). These will be discussed at the joint meeting of Co-ordinating Editors and RGCs during the Barcelona Colloquium in October 2003, and will also form the basis for a workshop there.
    Action: Jon, Peter, Davina, Jordi
  5. Report from the Co-Chairs
    Jim and Mike agreed that the most important issues that had arisen in the past six months were already on the agenda for discussion during this meeting.
  6. Report from the Treasurer:

    6.1 Spreadsheet of current financial situation: Mike described the spreadsheet showing the income, expenditure and total current assets of The Cochrane Collaboration. He reported that a sixty-day deposit account had been opened to provide a higher interest rate on surplus funds. Jini was asked to correct the spreadsheet to show the variance between estimated and actual expenditure as positive rather than negative. Mike explained that the Collaboration’s account had recently been reimbursed from the Aubrey Sheiham Scholarship account for the contributions it had made to the renovations to the scholar’s apartment in Oxford, so as not to jeopardise Professor Sheiham’s tax position.
    Action: Jini

    6.2 Tables of Contingency and Discretionary Fund expenditure: There were no questions about the expenditure from either of these Funds in the financial year 2002-2003. Mike pointed out that the new financial year means the start of a new period of expenditure from these Funds.

    6.3 Sub- and Advisory Group requested budgets for 2003 to 2004: It was agreed to review these budgets later in the meeting, when the reports from the sub- and advisory groups would be discussed.

    6.4 Estimated expenditure for 2003 to 2004: Jini was asked to reinstate the several lines that were missing from the table of estimated expenditure for the coming year, and circulate the amended table to the Steering Group. Mike explained that estimated income from royalties was £500,000 before tax (i.e. the guaranteed minimum royalty of £500,000 under the new publishing contract does not include VAT).
    Action: Jini
  7. New publishing arrangement for the Cochrane Collaboration’s output

    Jim thanked Mike very much for his hard work in bringing the new publishing arrangements to fruition. Mike reported that there had been 39 sets of comments on the draft contract, from members of the Collaboration; he has replied to each of these. The new contract with John Wiley and Sons Limited (Wiley for short) had been signed on 18 March 2003, and was effective from 1 March 2003 for a term of six years, and could be revised at any time by mutual agreement. There had been an exchange of letters between Mike and Mark Starr, formally terminating the contract between The Cochrane Collaboration and Update Software. It was agreed that the precise terms of the contract between the Collaboration and Wiley should remain confidential as it is a commercially sensitive document, but that a summary of the embedded principles can be conveyed to all entities. Mike explained that the Schedules attached to the contract are ‘living’ documents, which means that they are not binding and can be revised by mutual agreement.
    Action: Mike

    7.2 The Permission for Publication form, for new and substantively updated reviews (not existing reviews, unless the new conditions need to be applied to any of these on a case-by-case basis), had been revised, giving Wiley the exclusive licence to publish the Cochrane review electronically; however, copyright is retained by the authors. The authors are also permitted to publish their reviews electronically on their own, or their institution’s, web site. Future discussions will be needed about a print journal for the output of The Cochrane Collaboration, but the new Permission for Publication form requires that authors tick a box on the form if they wish to grant print rights for their review to be considered for publication in such a journal. Consideration should be given by Wiley to providing Cochrane Reviews in PDF format so that reviewers can publish them on their own entity’s web site.

    7.3 The following products of The Cochrane Collaboration will migrate to Wiley over the next twelve months: CDSR, CDMR, CENTRAL and ‘About the Cochrane Collaboration’. Publication of the other parts of The Cochrane Library (including CMR, DARE, the NHS Economic Evaluation Database, and the Health Technology Assessment Database) will be discussed with Wiley on a case-by-case basis. Wiley are initially targeting sales in Asia, Austria, Denmark and the USA. They will be attending about twenty-five conferences in the next year at which they will be publicising The Cochrane Library, and Mike agreed to let all entities know which conferences these will be. Wiley had requested that high profile reviews relevant to each conference be identified for publicity purposes. A Managing Editor will be appointed soon by Wiley to be the main contact person with the Collaboration, and they will also establish regional contacts.
    Action: Mike

    7.4 Information on the new publishing arrangement should be added to all information sources (Collaboration web site, Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook, CCInfo, Cochrane News, etc.) as necessary, and explained clearly during the Barcelona Colloquium. Current derivative products will continue to be published by Update Software for the coming year, while negotiations are underway for the future publication of such products. CRG representatives will disseminate information about the new Permission for Publication form to their constituents. It was emphasized that the Cochrane Collaboration now has ownership of the name ‘The Cochrane Library’.
    Action: Mike, Davina, Mark, Peter
  8. Pricing of The Cochrane Library
    The Cochrane Collaboration has not been involved in the past in detailed negotiations about individual national provisions, but will be involved in these in future. Jim agreed to relay this information to Kay Dickersin in response to her enquiry about pricing of The Cochrane Library, and to offer for the Collaboration to be proactive in negotiating national provision in the United States. Sally explained that this matter had been discussed at the recent Centre Directors’ meeting and that a document outlining the factors Centre Directors believe should be considered when determining price would be written and circulated for comment and then sent to the Publishing Policy Group. Mike explained that he had been responsible for price negotiations for countries outside the UK, and Gerd had been responsible for the UK; however, it was agreed that Nick should take over from Mike as the Collaboration’s lead in negotiating its pricing arrangements, continuing to work with Gerd.
    Action: Jim, Nick, Gerd
  9. Final report and recommendations from the Quality Improvement Manager

    Jim was asked to write and convey thanks to Nancy Owens for her comprehensive report, and for her extremely hard work over the past eighteen months. It was agreed that her report had given the Steering Group an immensely valuable insight into the problem areas in the production of reviews. The Steering Group endorsed Appendix C to the report (Draft of CRG Editorial Procedures) that detailed entities’ current working practices. Monica said that the IMS team had found this very helpful as input to planning the new Information Management System. Sally reported that in their recent meeting the Centre Directors had acknowledged the huge amount of work that Nancy had done.
    Action: Jim

    9.2 Jini agreed to contact Nancy to arrange to put her report onto the Collaboration web site as soon as possible, and to create links from her report to related material on the web site. Jini should notify entities when the report is available, after which all entity representatives should seek feedback from their constituents during the next six months as to which parts of the report they find most useful, and to identify if there are any important elements missing or not cross-referenced. The Steering Group should discuss this feedback at its next meeting in October 2003.
    Action: Jini, all entity representatives

    9.3 Decisions made in response to Nancy’s recommendations were as follows:
    Recommendation 1: To disseminate information gathered on effective practice, ideas and resources through the Cochrane Collaboration web site.
    A decision about this recommendation was deferred until entities have provided their feedback on the report.

    Recommendation 2: To undertake projects, with input from the Quality Advisory Group, to monitor specific aspects of review quality to determine the effects of applying effective practice.
    A decision about this recommendation was deferred until entities have provided their feedback on the report.

    Recommendation 3: To foster a discussion among CRGs on the feasibility of establishing a more explicit standard of quality for Cochrane reviews.

    A decision about this recommendation was deferred until entities have provided their feedback on the report. It was noted that this is an issue for other entities, not only CRGs.

    Recommendation 4: To make data from the Quality Improvement Manager’s report accessible as a resource for future research projects in The Cochrane Collaboration.

    This was not thought to be in any way contentious, and was agreed to.

    Recommendation 5: To use data contained in the Quality Improvement Manager’s report to develop effective practice documentation for entities, following the model of the CRG Editorial Procedures document or another useful model.
    Decisions about this recommendation cannot be taken until entities have provided their feedback on the report.

    Recommendation 6: To develop and implement standard job descriptions for key Cochrane staff positions, with Trials Search Co-ordinators (TSCs) as a priority.
    The Quality Advisory Group was asked to incorporate this recommendation into their paper (see below).

    Recommendation 7:
    (a) To utilize the Quality Advisory Group more systematically to evaluate specific aspects of review quality; and
    (b) To develop mechanisms systematically to integrate ongoing research on review quality into Collaboration policies and procedures.
    Sally was asked if the Quality Advisory Group would advise on the status of the editorial checklist project. Nick suggested that training needs analyses could be done to improve overall standards.

  10. Recommendation 8: To develop and implement programs to provide support to Cochrane entities, with particular focus on: training and induction of CRG staff, paid and voluntary, in Collaboration procedures and methods; fostering communication among entities; and providing support to [add ‘other’] entities.

    Whether to employ a person or people specifically to support implementation of these recommendations, will depend on the recommendations of the Quality Advisory Group (see below). Monica suggested that it would be very useful to have a central person to train key users and trainers of users in the use of the new Information Management System.

    Recommendation 9: To disseminate anonymized feedback received in interviews about specific entities or issues to appropriate recipients.

    It was agreed that, rather than anonymizing the feedback, Nick should discuss the feedback with Nancy so that he can follow up on specific areas of concern identified by her.
    Action: Nick

    The Steering Group agreed in principle that resources should be allocated for the implementation of Nancy’s recommendations. The Executive should discuss in their next teleconference what the extent of such resources should be, and Jini should ensure that this item is put onto that agenda. Sally was asked to co-ordinate the preparation of a paper for discussion at the next Steering Group meeting in October 2003, on specific projects to implement the recommendations contained in the report. She should obtain input from the Monitoring and Registration Group and the Methods Groups, as well as the Quality Advisory Group.
    Action: Jini, Sally

  11. The Collaboration’s Strategic Plan
    Entity representatives reported that they had canvassed their constituents for feedback on the draft revised Strategic Plan, but had received very little. Gerd was asked to thank David Booker for his helpful comments. It was therefore assumed that members of the Collaboration are generally satisfied with the wording of the revised Plan. The relevant person, entity and/or Advisory Group for each of the objectives were identified. Nick agreed to devise a framework for an operational plan and budget arising from the Strategic Plan, and to circulate this to the Steering Group by the end of July for comment in advance of discussion at its next meeting in October 2003. Sally and Davina were asked to send examples of their existing operational plans to Nick to help him in this task. He would also obtain relevant data that had been provided to the Monitoring and Registration Group as part of the entity monitoring process. The Steering Group agreed to some specific amendments to the Strategic Plan (see Appendix). It was agreed that Jini should revise the Plan in the light of discussion at this meeting, and that Mike would then circulate it to all entities for information, and arrange for it to be put onto the web site.
    Action: Gerd, Nick, Sally, Davina, Jini, Mike
  12. Progress report on development of the new Information Management System
    Monica Kjeldstrøm explained the details of the budget application for the new Information Management System.  It was agreed in principle to insert a line into the budget to support a trainer of new software, who might also be involved in writing training material.  A figure for unforeseen costs should be included across each year, and it was agreed that the payment of overheads on such a grant should be avoided if possible.  It was acknowledged that the proposed new Information Management System would save Collaborative Review Groups time and money.  In Monica's absence, it was agreed in principle that up to £100,000 of additional funding should be made available for the Information Management System for Year 1 from The Cochrane Collaboration's core funding, and that funding for future years should be kept under review.  Nick was asked to discuss the fine detail with Monica by the end of April (such as obtaining more detailed costings, deliverables and the time frame), obtaining technical advice from Georg Koch if necessary.  If no difficulties are identified, additional detail and Nick's recommendation should be circulated to the Steering Group via e-mail and discussed during the next Executive telephone conference, so that - if approved - the project can move ahead.  It was agreed to pursue the option with the Quickstream solution. It was also agreed that the Nordic Cochrane Centre should administer the salary expenditure from this budget, and that the Secretariat should administer the non-salary expenditure. 
    Action: Nick, Monica
  13. Annual report and response at future Collaboration Annual General Meetings (AGMs)
    It was noted that the Co-Chairs would make a presentation at the beginning of the Barcelona Colloquium about the current status of the Collaboration, providing highlights of the past year and describing future plans. It was agreed that at the beginning of the AGMs of The Cochrane Collaboration and the Collaboration Trading Company, their purpose should be clearly explained, and that one of the Co-Chairs would introduce the Steering Group members, perhaps projecting a photograph of each of them. The members of the Steering Group should sit together on the same level as those attending the meeting rather than on a raised podium. The arrangements for these meetings will be finalised once the room in which they are to be held is known.
    Action: Jim, Mike, Jordi, Nick, Jini
  14. Industry funding of Cochrane reviews
    Jim advised that this important issue is the subject of a plenary session during the Barcelona Colloquium. Jim agreed to ask Lisa Bero to provide a written description of the study she had undertaken on this issue using data from the Parent Database, detailing the process she had used and her findings.
    Action: Jim
  15. Conflicts of interest
    A lengthy discussion was held on this topic, demonstrating the diversity of views held. Sam was asked to circulate very quickly to the whole Steering Group the paper that he and Silvana had been asked to produce for the Melbourne meeting. Steering Group members should give feedback on this paper in time for it to be discussed at the next Executive teleconference.
    Action: Sam
  16. Centre Directors’ recommendations re responsibilities of Directors and staff
    Monica Kjeldstrøm left the meeting during discussion of this item because she is a member of Centre staff and is not a member of the Steering Group.

    Sally explained that the Centre Directors had discussed a paper on this topic at length during their recent meeting, and that the paper is now undergoing extensive revision, to provide guidelines rather than to be proscriptive. It will include a description of the special responsibilities of Centre Directors and guidelines about expression of views in their professional capacity and appropriate use of disclaimers. It was agreed that Co-ordinating Editors of Collaborative Review Groups and Convenors of Fields and Methods Groups have a similar special responsibility. It was acknowledged that the existence and wording of this document could not govern the future behaviour of anyone not employed by The Cochrane Collaboration, but it should rather be used as a tool in relation to their Cochrane work. The revised paper will be discussed with Alessandro Liberati who prepared the first draft. It will then be sent to the Centre Directors for discussion and ratification, and then sent to the Steering Group for discussion during their next meeting in October 2003.
    Action: Gerd, Kathie, Sally

    15.2 Nick was asked to develop a process for dealing with problems involving unacceptable behaviour, for discussion during the next Steering Group meeting in October 2003.
    Action: Nick

    Mike agreed to ask the Co-ordinating Editor involved in a current issue of concern whether he wants to take the matter further. If he does, Mike will become involved as the reference Cochrane Centre Director. If the issue cannot be resolved by this means, the Ombudsmen should be brought in. This should be put onto the agenda of future Executive teleconferences until the issue is resolved.
    Action: Mike
  17. Developing countries initiative
    Samuel introduced the background to this initiative, which had been brought to the Steering Group by Youping Li of the Chinese Cochrane Centre for discussion at their meeting in Lyon in October 2001. Since then, Youping Li had stepped down from the Steering Group, and Xavier Bonfill, Director of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, had taken over as lead of the working group on this initiative to increase the involvement of people from developing countries in the work of The Cochrane Collaboration. He had prepared a paper for discussion at this meeting, which included comments from other members of the working group. There was discussion about whether a network approach was necessarily the most appropriate. The advice of the Steering Group was sought as to the future direction of this initiative, and it was agreed that a proposal to establish a Developing Countries Field/Network should be considered by the working group, or alternatives suggested if this is not the preferred option. It was agreed that core funds of up to £5000 should be made available in order to move this initiative forward, and that Xavier should consult with the members of the working group and present their views in a written proposal to the Steering Group shortly after the Barcelona Colloquium. In addition, Nick agreed to produce a paper providing a suggested format for papers being submitted to the Steering Group in the future.
    Action: Samuel, Nick
  18. Inclusion of systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy in The Cochrane Library
    Jon explained the background to the Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group’s proposal to extend the definition of Cochrane reviews to include systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy.  The Steering Group agreed that it was now timely to extend the scope of The Cochrane Collaboration to include systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy, as the science of evaluating and systematically reviewing diagnostic accuracy had advanced during the last decade and there was obvious enthusiasm across The Collaboration for this project.  The Steering Group also noted that The Collaboration had now reached a level of maturity such that previous Steering Groups’ concerns about the need for The Collaboration to concentrate investment of resources in the development of infrastructure to produce systematic reviews of interventions was no longer necessary.

    Jon recommended that a working group be set up to investigate the best model for the production of such reviews.  It will work out how this new challenge can interleave with current functions of Centres and Collaborative Review Groups, as well as Fields and Methods Groups, without creating unmanageable demands, and ensuring that all involved will be able to obtain training and the necessary methodological and software support.  Jon and Peter agreed that they would be willing to co-convene such a working group to produce a plan with the aim of reviews of diagnostic test accuracy being published within two years.  It is already apparent that some funders are particularly interested in this initiative, and the Funders’ Forum will be involved in discussions during the Barcelona Colloquium.  It was agreed to support this initiative, and the sum of up to £5000 from core funds was approved to meet the costs of this working group, and to support a consultative meeting of methodologists organised by the Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group before the Barcelona Colloquium.  Davina volunteered to assist this group. 
    Action:  Jon, Peter, Davina
  19. Reports to the Steering Group:

    18.1 Publishing Policy Group: Mike explained that he had not provided a written report but that work on the new publishing arrangement had been the major activity of the past six months. Sally highlighted the need to discuss the PPG’s role, remit and membership in particular in light of this new arrangement. Nick will focus on this when he undertakes a review of this and all the other sub- and advisory groups. It was agreed that the Reviewer representative on the Steering Group should be a member of the PPG.
    Action: Nick

    Monitoring and Registration Group: Jim thanked the MRG for all their hard work over the past six months. Sam expanded on the main points contained in this report, as follows:

    18.2.1 Central data collection: The proposal for a central data collector to provide information for the monitoring process was approved, with the aim of reducing the burden on entities. The details need to be worked out, and Nick should discuss with Claire Allen the need for this position in the Secretariat (whether full- or part-time), and if necessary prepare a paper for discussion at the MRG meeting in May.
    Action: Nick

    18.2.2 Establishing new Cochrane Centres: It was agreed that, despite perceptions to the contrary, there is currently no moratorium on establishing new Cochrane Centres. It was agreed that the Steering Group should look strategically at whether there are specific gaps in the geographical coverage of The Cochrane Collaboration that would benefit from the establishment of additional Centres. It was also agreed that this strategic review (which was labelled as an important but non-urgent issue) should seek to identify any specific gaps in the Collaboration’s coverage of areas of health care.
    Action: Nick, Jim

    18.2.3 Core functions of Cochrane Centres: Kathie reported that, at their recent meeting, the Centre Directors had discussed and agreed that geographic and linguistic responsibility should be included in the core functions of Centres. This was endorsed, and should be added to the Cochrane Manual by Jini. The MRG were asked to discuss how this change would affect, for example, responsibility for communities in one country whose language is that of a different Cochrane Centre.
    Action: Jini, Kathie

    18.2.4 Template for a business plan for entities: Nick was asked to provide a template for a business plan for entities, which should be the subject of a workshop at the Barcelona Colloquium. Jordi will ensure that this workshop is registered.
    Action: Nick, Jordi

    18.2.5 Open learning resources: It was agreed that the MRG should identify how much work is going on in entities in the area of ‘open learning’ (or ‘off campus distributed learning’ or ‘distance learning’) and report back to the Steering Group in its next six-monthly report.
    Action: Sam, Kathie

    18.2.6 Applications to register new entities: It was agreed that future applications to register new entities should be sent to the MRG in the first instance, to determine if an application is sufficiently well prepared for there to be detailed consideration by the full Steering Group. The MRG should discuss the implementation of this decision at their next meeting in May 2003.
    Action: Sam, Kathie

    18.2.7 MRG budget: The MRG’s requested budget of £10,000 was approved.

    Monitoring the Steering Group: It was agreed that this process had been valuable and should be repeated at intervals, and that the Steering Group should decide on the frequency with which this should be done at their next mid-year meeting in Milan in February/March 2004.
    Action: Jini

    CENTRAL/CCTR Advisory Group: Jim expressed the thanks of the Steering Group to Kay Dickersin and the CCAG for their six-monthly report. In response to issues raised in that report, it was confirmed that under the new publishing arrangement it is possible for the output of The Cochrane Collaboration to be marketed in such a way that subscribers can choose only to access certain databases from The Cochrane Library, as at present. It was confirmed that the CCAG or one of its members would be consulted on strategic decisions specifically relevant to the future of CENTRAL (for example, through the Steering Group’s representatives on the CCAG). The Steering Group approved in principle the funding from core funds of a project to improve CENTRAL by standardising journal names, but the CCAG should first put forward a detailed budget to the Steering Group. The annual budget of £2000 (approximately $3000 US) to cover the operating costs of the CCAG was approved. Davina was asked to convey these decisions to the CCAG.
    Action: Davina

18.5 Cochrane Library Users’ Group: Thanks were expressed to Julie Glanville for providing this report on behalf of the CLUG. Members of the CLUG had provided helpful comments on the negotiations for a new publishing arrangement, and would continue to be consulted in negotiations for future products. In response to Andrew Herxheimer’s request that an explanation of the conflicts of interest within individual reviews and strategies used to resolve such conflict be included in the reviews, it was noted that this concern is being addressed in the paper that is in preparation by Silvana Simi and Samuel Ochieng. The suggestion that CLUG should have a stand at the ‘Meet the Entities’ session during the Barcelona Colloquium was thought to be a good one, and Jordi will arrange for space to be made available for all Advisory Groups at that session if they want it. The requested budget of £1600 to run the third CLUG Day in 2003 was approved. The Steering Group made no suggestions as to the most suitable date for this, and Mike will let Julie know.
Action: Jordi, Mike

Colloquium Policy Advisory Group: Claire Glenton and Alessandro Liberati were thanked for their hard work in producing the document ‘General criteria for Cochrane Colloquia Sponsorships’. With an amendment to paragraph 2(iii) to read, for example, "For-profit organisations may contribute to the funding of Colloquium scholarships" (rather than ‘fees’), the policy was approved, and Jini should add it to the Cochrane Manual. Mike agreed to explain to Claire Glenton the background discussion that led to the request for this amendment. The Steering Group agreed that the CPAG is doing exactly what is required of them, and their requested budget of £5000 for the new financial year was approved.
Action: Jini, Mike

18.7 Criticism Management Advisory Group: Jim reported that Chris is standing down as Convenor of the CMAG, and that no replacement has yet been named. Mike agreed to write and thank Chris for his six-monthly report, and for his contributions to the work of this advisory group. Chris had not requested a budget on behalf of the CMAG for the coming year.
Action: Mike

Handbook Advisory Group: Mike reported that he and Andy Oxman were stepping down as editors of the Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook. He would be suggesting the names of replacement editors to the members of the Handbook Advisory Group; if there were no objections, he would bring those names to the Steering Group for approval. Mike and Andy were thanked for all their hard work during their time as editors. Jon said that Methods Groups would like the opportunity to meet with the editors of the Handbook from time to time, and recommended that the Handbook Advisory Group should have a budget to facilitate this. He reported that he had almost completed revising Section 8 of the Handbook, and made a plea for financial resources for projects such as this; this will be considered as part of the Collaboration’s business plan to be prepared by Nick.
Action: Mike, Jon, Nick

Information Management System Group: Monica Kjeldstrøm was thanked for her six-monthly report on behalf of the IMSG. This report pointed out that the minutes of the Steering Group meeting held in April 2002 had failed to record the endorsement of the policy for publication of data in Cochrane reviews for those analysis graphs where the outcome data cannot be manipulated by the user. These data should be presented alongside the relevant graph. The Steering Group had also agreed that the publisher should make the raw data easily accessible in a generic format. The requested budget of £16,264 was approved. The breakdown of this sum is £10,880 for the IMSG, £3544 for the RevMan Advisory Group, and £1840 for the ModMan Advisory Group, to cover the costs of face-to-face meetings and telephone conferences in the coming year.

Quality Advisory Group: Thanks were expressed to the Co-Convenors of the QAG for their report, Phil Alderson and Sally Green. It was clarified that the QAG should look for the resources outside the Group to solve problems, and not try to solve the problems themselves. Mike advised that Nick would shortly be looking at the rotation of membership of all advisory groups, including the issue of voting rights of ex officio members. It was confirmed that Sally has a potential conflict of interest as she is both a Co-Convenor of QAG and a member of the Steering Group, and that she should therefore bring items pertaining to the Quality Advisory Group to the Steering Group for approval. The requested budget of £120 for teleconferences for the coming year was approved; however, Sally would soon bring a budget for a detailed proposal related to the objectives and direction of the QAG to the Steering Group.
Action: Sally, Nick

Cochrane-Campbell liaison: Peter reported that he had deputised for Lisa Bero at the recent Campbell Colloquium, and had been most impressed at the amount of energy being put into the work of that organisation. He had repeatedly been asked how things are done in The Cochrane Collaboration, and requested that a representative of the Campbell Collaboration be invited to attend Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group meetings in future: Jim agreed to write and issue this invitation. Jon advised that a joint meeting of Cochrane and Campbell Methods Groups was being arranged to take place during the Barcelona Colloquium. The Steering Group agreed that the organisers of future Cochrane and Campbell Colloquia should be encouraged to arrange joint sessions at each others’ Colloquia.
Action: Jim, Jon

The Publication Arbiter: Jim thanked David for the report of his activities to date in his role as Publication Arbiter, in which he had referred to particular situations in an anonymous way. David reported that his responsibilities as Publication Arbiter had so far not proved too onerous. If he found himself in a conflicted position David was encouraged to report this to the Co-Chairs who would identify someone to stand in for him.

The Funders’ Forum: Mike agreed to notify the Steering Group as soon as the date and time of the next Funders’ Forum in Barcelona are known. Nick was asked to liaise with Dan Fox of the Milbank Memorial Fund in attracting existing and potential funders to attend meetings of the Forum.
Action: Mike, Nick

The Directors of the Collaboration Trading Company: It was agreed that one of the Trading Company Directors should be invited to attend Steering Group meetings in future. Mike agreed to extend this invitation to them, and to apologise that extension of the Quality Improvement Manager’s contract had not been agreed with the Trading Company Directors in advance. It was suggested that it would be helpful for Nick to attend the next meeting of the Trading Company Directors on 29 April 2003.
Action: Mike, Nick

19. Reports from entity representatives:

19.1 Collaborative Review Groups:

19.1.1 Module submission deadline in November 2003: It was agreed that Wiley should be asked to extend the module submission deadline date for Issue 4 of The Cochrane Library by one week, because the current deadline of 19 November is too close to the end of the Barcelona Colloquium.
Action: Mike

19.1.2 Cost of producing a Cochrane review: Mike was asked to thank Miranda Mugford for her progress report on this project, which seems to be proceeding well.
Action: Mike

19.1.3 Reviews without consumer synopses: Peter agreed to advise the Co-ordinating Editors that the guidelines for synopses for Cochrane reviews is a Handbook issue. It was agreed that it is for each Collaborative Review Group to decide how it wishes to prepare synopses.
Action: Peter

19.1.4 Reviews submitted via training programme established by the Chinese Cochrane Centre: Jim agreed to advise the Co-ordinating Editor and Review Group Co-ordinator of the Heart Group that they should contact the Chinese Cochrane Centre and the Complementary Medicine Field directly about the issues they had raised in their letter to the Steering Group. The issue about registration of multiple titles was thought to be a cultural one, and Sally advised that she is in contact with the Chinese Cochrane Centre about this. She stressed that she would not be discussing their training objectives with them, and also drew attention to the particular difficulties of involving people from developing countries, reminding everyone that the purpose of the developing countries initiative is especially to support reviewers from those countries. Peter and Davina agreed to draw the importance of meeting this particular challenge to the attention of Co-ordinating Editors and Review Group Co-ordinators, and to raise this for discussion at their joint meeting in October 2003. Jordi suggested that Centres could help to facilitate better communication with people in other cultures. He agreed to prepare a short paper on transcultural sensitivity, to be discussed during the Barcelona Colloquium, in conjunction with Sam, Elizabeth Pienaar and a member of staff of the Chinese Cochrane Centre. The importance of helping each other within The Cochrane Collaboration to improve communication between people from different cultures was agreed.
Action: Jim, Sally, Peter, Davina, Jordi, Sam

19.2 Methods Groups: Jon agreed to liaise with Mike (as Director of the reference Cochrane Centre) in helping the proposed Information Retrieval Methods Group to put together a good application to register as an entity with The Cochrane Collaboration.
Action: Jon

19.3 Fields/Networks: Vittorio reported that there were no issues concerning Fields that required a policy decision from the Steering Group at this time.

19.4 Centres:

19.4.1 Branches and networks of Centres:
Kathie reported that in their recent meeting the Centre Directors had discussed issues surrounding the establishment of new branches and networks of Cochrane Centres. It was agreed that such groupings should be part of the reference Cochrane Centre supporting them, and only when they are seeking independence should they apply to register as a separate entity with The Cochrane Collaboration. The Monitoring and Registration Group was asked to remind Centres of the process of reporting and monitoring of entities. It was reiterated that there would be a strategic discussion at a Steering Group meeting in the next twelve months to discuss geographic coverage. It was agreed that in the meantime the Monitoring and Registration Group should deal with such expressions of interest in establishing additional branches or Centres.
Action: Sam, Kathie

19.4.2 Making review title registration transparent: This item was deferred, due to lack of information.
19.5 Consumer Network: On behalf of Silvana and himself, Sam reported verbally on current issues in the Consumer Network, and explained that the Network would be holding its Annual General Meeting during the Barcelona Colloquium.
  1. Mid-year meeting of the Steering Group
    Alessandro Liberati had invited the Steering Group to hold their next mid-year meeting in Milan on 29 February, 1 and 2 March 2004. The Centre Directors had been invited to hold their meeting there on 25 and 26 February, with a one-day open symposium, followed by a social day, between the meetings of the Centre Directors and the Steering Group. Jini was asked to thank Alessandro for his offer to host these meetings, and to let him know that these dates are suitable to the Steering Group. Peter was asked to advise the Campbell Collaboration of these dates to try to avoid an overlap with their annual Colloquium.
    Action: Jini, Peter
  2. Media strategy for the Cochrane Collaboration: Mike advised that it was important to move forward with a strategy for dealing with the media but that he was no longer able to do this. Nick was asked to take the lead in this area, involving Jordi and others. Jim agreed to write and thank Melissa Sweet for her document outlining some strategies in this area.
    Action: Nick, Jim
  3. Collaboration web site development: the next phase
    It was agreed that the next phase of the redevelopment of the Collaboration web site is part of the overall web site strategy being reviewed by Nick within the next two months. In the meantime, the document prepared by David Booker should be put onto the agenda of the next Publishing Policy Group teleconference. Kathie explained that the Canadian Cochrane Centre web site had undergone extensive overhaul in the last year. It was agreed that the Canadian Centre and the IMSG should be involved in discussions about the next phase of the redevelopment of the Collaboration web site.
    Action: Nick, Jini, Kathie, Monica
  4. Future Cochrane Colloquia:

    23.1 2003 – Barcelona: It was agreed that the costs of cancellation of the Barcelona Colloquium (of up to a maximum of nearly 58,000 Euros - approximately £40,000 sterling), as detailed in the document submitted by Xavier Bonfill, should be met from core Collaboration funds, and this should be kept under review for future costs of this Colloquium. Should cancellation become a probability, the Barcelona Colloquium organisers should submit a detailed financial breakdown of the aspects of expenditure for which they were seeking financial support from core Collaboration funds. This policy would be reviewed for future Colloquia in the light of world events. It was agreed that the appropriate way to advise the Barcelona Colloquium organisers should any event threaten the holding of the Colloquium would be to establish an emergency committee of the Steering Group (as had been done in relation to the Lyon Colloquium following the events of September 2001).
    Action: Jordi

    23.2 2004 – Ottawa:
    Kathie reported that arrangements for the Ottawa Colloquium were proceeding as planned, and there were no questions for or from the Steering Group about it.

    23.3 2005 – Melbourne: Sally reported that arrangements for the Melbourne Colloquium were proceeding as planned.
  5. Proposal for a Cochrane Collaboration Fellowship
    It was agreed that a new fellowship should be established, using core Collaboration funds, to a maximum of £4000 for each fellowship. It should be called the Cochrane Collaboration Exchange Fellowship, and it should be noted in all documentation about the fellowship that it had been established in fulfilment of Chris Silagy’s wishes. The fellowship would be administered by the Secretariat, with the Quality Advisory Group overseeing the establishment of a committee to administer it.
    Action: Sally
  6. Proposals for restructuring the Cochrane Consumer Network

    Samuel gave the background to the recent changes in the Cochrane Consumer Network. It was clarified that the Cochrane Consumer Network is a membership group for consumers working with The Cochrane Collaboration, and the web site produced by Hilda Bastian is aimed at the general public.

    Janet Wale attended the meeting for this item, and began by explaining that the Cochrane Consumer Network would like the stakeholders to say what they want from it. Janet wanted to emphasize the wealth of information that Hilda Bastian possessed, which had been extremely helpful to her, in particular with regard to a project funded by the Commonwealth of Australia Department of Health and Ageing. It was Hilda who was successful in obtaining this grant, which is for timely and effective consumer participation in the review process, and which Janet is managing. The workshop on consumer issues on 28 March 2003 (as part of the funding) had highlighted the need for improved communication and support. Janet had tried to enlist help from health support organisations with little success. She had concluded that it was extremely important to nurture a relationship between health care support organisations and consumers within The Cochrane Collaboration, with a clear movement between the two. A governance working party had been established during the Lyon Colloquium in October 2001, and had met again during the Stavanger Colloquium. It had subsequently been suggested that the Cochrane Consumer Network might operate in the same way as a Cochrane Field/Network, incorporating members from all other Cochrane entities. The aim of the Network would be to facilitate CRGs in producing high quality reviews, to identify consumers to give input on Cochrane reviews, and to liaise with support organisations. Janet expressed the concern that the Consumer Network may be unable to overcome its current difficulties without help.

    Steff described her view that as a statistician to a CRG she was supported by the CRG, but that the Statistical Methods Group kept her in contact with other statisticians. She viewed the Consumer Network as similarly facilitating the relationship between its members and their CRG. It was agreed that it was for the Consumer Network to provide the definition of who is a consumer, and to decide who should be its Convenor, a role that the Governing Council is currently fulfilling. Nick offered to help in creating strategic alliances and in offering advice in the production of a business plan, with some financial help from Collaboration core funds in order to produce such a plan. The Steering Group encouraged the Governing Council of the Network to avoid spending too much time and energy in establishing branches and bureaucratic processes, which could draw resources away from meeting their central challenges.

    25.4 The current status of the funding of the Consumer Network is that Hilda Bastian has a contract with Medibank Private, and Janet Wale has a contract with the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. Janet explained that it would be sensible to dissolve the incorporated association at the end of the latter contract. She said that consideration of a change in the structure of the Network to becoming a Cochrane Field, and the assistance of the Chief Executive Officer in producing a business plan, would be a great help in bringing about necessary change. She was confident that the Governing Council would be able partially to move this forward, with help and expertise. Mike confirmed that there would continue to be two positions on the Steering Group for consumer representatives. The web site of resources for consumers working in The Cochrane Collaboration should be included in the business plan. A positive and hopeful attitude should be fostered via CCInfo, Cochrane News and other means, focussing particularly on consumer issues during the Barcelona Colloquium. Sally reiterated that the Australasian Cochrane Centre would continue to support the Network in appropriate ways. It did not seem necessary for the Network to appoint a Convenor at this point in time. It was agreed that ‘Cochrane Consumer’ as a name for Hilda Bastian’s web site was confusing.
    Action: Nick

    Janet said it was the view of the Governing Council of the Consumer Network that responsibility for the preparation of consumer synopses should be reinvested in the Collaborative Review Groups, and that the Network would be keen to assist in their preparation. Janet explained that the grant from Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing of $35,000 AUS was for a specific project to benefit the whole of the Network for ‘timely and effective participation in the review process’. Janet should seek advice from Nick with regard to applying for the second part of this grant as it involves work that Hilda had previously undertaken. Mike expressed the appreciation of the Steering Group for Janet’s clear explanation of the current issues facing the Consumer Network. He agreed to write and thank Janet formally for participating in this discussion, which the Steering Group had found very helpful.
    Action: Mike
  7. ‘Comments and Criticisms’ process
    The Steering Group had been asked by the San Francisco branch of the US Cochrane Center to judge whether a specific comment on the Update Software web site contravened house rules or not. After extensive discussion, the Steering Group decided that it did breach house rules. Jim agreed to ask Update Software to remove the comment from the web site, and to advise the person who submitted it of the reason for its removal. The people who declared a conflict of interest over this item were not present when the decision was made.
    Action: Jim
  8. A concerted approach to applying for funding to the EU Sixth Framework
    It was agreed that the imminent deadline for submission to the EU Sixth Framework probably precluded a bid being made; however, Nick offered to look at putting together an approach to the EU Sixth Framework for funding to support research infrastructures. Kathie agreed to send him a copy of a multiple application that had recently been put together for Cochrane entities in Canada for information. He was also advised to contact the Oslo branch of the Norwegian Cochrane Centre who had some experience in this area, and had already discussed possible approaches with Jos Kleijnen of the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. It was agreed that the other European Cochrane Centres should be involved in any approach to the European Union.
    Action: Nick, Kathie
  9. Arrangements for current record-keeping and future archiving
    Mike agreed to circulate the report provided by the archivist Jon Newman to all entities, drawing attention to the need for them to give some thought to archiving issues. Jini should ask Jon Newman if he could provide advice on how to obtain a detailed review by an appropriately qualified IT consultant of the arrangements for the long-term preservation of the published and unpublished electronic records of The Cochrane Collaboration. Mike also agreed to ask Iain Chalmers to keep The Cochrane Collaboration informed of the arrangements for his papers to be transferred to a medical archive, and for copies of any relevant catalogues in due course.
    Action: Mike, Jini
  10. Changes to the Constitution of the Cochrane Collaboration
    Mike undertook to draft a revised version of the Constitution for circulation with the AGM papers for approval in Barcelona, unless it is necessary for the Steering Group to discuss the proposed changes first.
    Action: Mike
  11. Spreadsheet of Steering Group members’ outstanding action items
    It was agreed that the spreadsheet of outstanding action items is useful to members of the Steering Group, and should be maintained. Claire was thanked for her work in preparing the spreadsheet, and Jini was thanked for her recent work in bringing it up-to-date. All members of the Steering Group were encouraged to let Claire know when they have done their action items.
  12. Any other business:

    31.1 ‘Cochraneconsumer’ web site:
    Hilda Bastian had been invited to attend the Steering Group meeting on 2 April for discussion of this item. Before this discussion, the Steering Group agreed that it wanted the activities proposed by Hilda to take place, and that there should be a clear avoidance of overlap. The name ‘Cochraneconsumer’ for the web site is inappropriate, and it was agreed that the development of the site should take place within the context of the strategy for redeveloping the Collaboration’s web site.

    With Hilda present, Nick led the discussion on this issue. He said that everyone was very excited about the style and content of her web site. The new publishing arrangement with John Wiley and Sons is bringing about a new approach to The Cochrane Collaboration’s output, such as maximizing accessibility, generating increased revenue, branding our products, etc. He explained that the Collaboration web site is in the process of redevelopment, the role of the Publishing Policy Group is under review, and consideration is being given to all aspects of the Collaboration’s web presence. Hilda agreed that now is a good opportunity to change the name as her web site is due to be relaunched soon. She also agreed that production of consumer synopses is an issue internal to the organisation, whereas her team is involved with dissemination, although she expressed her wish for her team to continue to be involved in their quality assurance and development.

    Nick explained that the Publishing Policy Group would be looking at the overall web presence of The Cochrane Collaboration. A working party should be established within the framework of the PPG to look at this. He also explained that there should be a separate working group to look at a strategy for management and funding of the work done by Hilda and her team. The latter group would need to decide quickly the structure for continuing the current arrangement for this. Mike thanked Hilda for participating in this discussion. Hilda left the meeting at this point and the discussions continued. It was agreed that Nick should set out the framework as a result of this meeting, with an indication of timescales, and that he would be the contact point to Hilda. The working party to work on the long-term vision aspect is the Publishing Policy Group, restructured according to Nick’s recommendations. A short-term working party on funding, employment, governance and naming issues should be established, consisting of Jim, Mike, David and Nick. It was noted that David should have access to resources to obtain any Australian legal advice that might be necessary. Nick would ask Hilda for a written commitment within the next few days to work out these matters together.
    Action: Nick

    31.2 Wiley’s suggestions for a new graphic for The Cochrane Library:
    It was agreed that the second of the three options for the proposed graphic was approved, with the proviso that John Wiley and Sons Limited be asked to continue to work to improve the design.
    Action: Nick

    31.3 Expenditure agreed at this meeting:
    The following maximum amounts were approved to be spent in the new financial year commencing on 1 April 2003:

    £100,000 for the development of the new Information Management System (item 11).

    Approximately £40,000 (nearly 58,000 Euros) was reserved to underwrite the cancellation of the Barcelona Colloquium if necessary (item 23.1).

    £5000 to the Developing Countries Initiative (item 16).

    £5000 for the Diagnostic Tests Working Group (item 17).

    £4000 for each Cochrane Collaboration Exchange Fellowship (item 24).

    Approval in principle for funds to support a project to improve CENTRAL (item 18.4).

    Approval in principle for funds to implement the recommendations contained in the Quality Improvement Manager’s report, as per the Quality Advisory Group’s forthcoming report, the extent of such resources to be discussed by the Executive of the Steering Group (item 9).
  13. Thanks to the host
    Jim expressed appreciation to Sally and the staff of the Australasian Cochrane Centre for hosting the Steering Group meeting. All the arrangements had been extremely efficient, the meeting facilities had been excellent, and the hospitality had been outstanding.



Amendments to the draft Strategic Plan

Goal 1:
Insert as 1.1.1: "Producing, maintaining and keeping up to date a handbook describing the methods to be used in producing systematic reviews based on current methodological evidence."

Insert as 1.1.2: "Ensuring that the standard of Cochrane Reviews corresponds to guidelines about how to produce high quality up to date reviews contained in the Cochrane Reviewers‘ Handbook."

Renumber existing 1.1.1 to 1.1.12, to 1.1.3 to 1.1.14.

Amend 1.1.4 (formerly 2) to include "methodologists" in the list of those in need of training and support.

Amend 1.1.14 (formerly 1.1.12) to read, "Ensuring that all Cochrane entities contribute to improving the quality of Cochrane reviews."

Amend 1.2.1 to read, "Identifying, [prioritising] and filling gaps in the coverage of reviews across and within Collaborative Review Groups."

Delete 1.2.3, "Expanding the coverage of The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and ensuring that Fields, Methods Groups and the Consumer Network contribute."

Goal 3:

Add 3.1.5: "Ensuring that the Annual General Meetings satisfy the needs of the members of The Cochrane Collaboration, as well as satisfying the relevant legal requirements."

Add 3.3.5: "Establishing and maintaining an up-to-date, evidence-based, user-friendly web site".

Add 3.3.6: "Ensuring accurate dissemination of information about the Collaboration via CCInfo and Cochrane News."

Amend 3.4.3 to, "Encouraging each entity to collaborate [with each other in] promoting the work of The Cochrane Collaboration as a whole."

Amend 3.4.4 to, "Maintaining the post of Chief Executive Officer".

Goal 4:
Amend 4.2.5 to read, "Developing a sustainable process for assembling and maintaining the [Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)]."

Amend 4.3.4 to read, "Developing mechanisms to foster [and maintain] enthusiasm for work within The Cochrane Collaboration."

Add 4.3.6: "Evaluating and reviewing the Strategic Plan every three years."

Priorities for 2003

The Steering Group agreed to identify the most urgent and important actions to be undertaken, and by whom, in the year commencing 1 April 2003, as follows:

Re item 1.1.3: Broadening consumer participation.
Consumer Network, Centres

Re item 1.1.7: Identifying procedures to update reviews.
Collaborative Review Groups (CRGs), Information Management System (IMS)

Re item 1.1.11: Continuous improvement of software.
IMS, Methods Groups, Advisory Groups

Re item 1.1.13: Updating the Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook.
Handbook Advisory Group (HAG), Methods Groups

Re item 1.2.1: Liaising with the methodologists about priority areas for research.
CRGs, Methods Groups, Fields

Re item 1.2.4: Avoiding duplication of effort (i.e. in reviews, contact information).
Publication Arbiter, IMS, CRGs

Re item 1.2.5: Expanding low- and middle-income country participation in reviews.
Developing Countries Initiative (DCI), CRGs, Centres, IMS

Re item 2.1.1: Identifying and responding to the needs of users of reviews.
Cochrane Library Users’ Group, Wiley, Centres, CRGs, IMS

Re item 2.1.3: Developing consumer summaries (synopses) for the remaining 20 per cent of reviews without them.

CRGs, Consumer Network, Wiley

Re item 2.3.3: Ensuring that cost is not a barrier to use.
Publishing Policy Group (PPG), Wiley, DCI

Re item 2.4.1: With Wiley, developing a marketing strategy for reviews that includes promotion and public relations.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Wiley, PPG

Re item 2.4.5: Raising awareness and demand within potential user groups, including those communities for whom English is not the first language.
Consumer Network, DCI, Wiley, Centres, Fields

Re item 3.1: [Taking stock annually] to ensure that the organisational focus supports the core function of preparing, maintaining and promoting the accessibility of reviews.
CEO, Co-Chairs

Re item 3.2.1: Identifying and defining the relationships among the various entities and advisory groups within the Collaboration.
CEO, Steering Group (CCSG), IMS, Centres

Re item 3.2.4: Establishing clear lines of reporting between the entities, the Steering Group and its advisory groups.

Re item 3.2.5: Ensuring that entities adhere to the practices and policies of the Cochrane Collaboration.
Monitoring and Registration Group (MRG), IMS, CCSG

Re item 3.3.4: Developing appropriate information management systems.
Secretariat, IMS, all entities

Re item 3.3.5: Establishing and maintaining an up-to-date, evidence-based, user-friendly web site.

Secretariat, PPG, IMS

Re item 3.3.6: Ensuring accurate dissemination of information about the Collaboration via CCInfo and Cochrane News.

Re item 3.4.5: Developing and implementing a strategy for establishing alliances with major international organisations.

CEO, Funders’ Forum, all entities

Re item 4.1 (all points): To ensure an adequate income stream for The Cochrane Collaboration
CEO, Wiley, PPG, Funders’ Forum, Co-Chairs.

Re item 4.2 (all points): To develop a business plan for the central activities of The Cochrane Collaboration.
CEO, IMS, Cochrane CENTRAL Advisory Group, Colloquium Policy Advisory Group

Re item 4.3: To recognise and support the efforts of individuals in The Cochrane Collaboration.
CEO, all entities, web site, IMS

Re item 4.3.2: Developing additional mechanisms to recognise excellent contributions by individuals and entities.
CEO, CCSG, all entities

Re item 4.3.3: Ensuring that the preparation and maintenance of Cochrane reviews receives full academic recognition.
CEO, Wiley, CCSG, Centres

31 March 2003