The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group

Reflecting on the Cochrane Colloquium 2013 – Canada

Three representatives of the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group went out, and three returned, albeit at different times (we like to mix it up a bit).ScZ Group

It was a hard five days.  Getting over jet lag, managing the steep climb to The Québec City Convention Centre every morning after coffee and croissants and a quick 30min meeting, followed by waves of information throughout the day.  What was our return on the time and money spent getting to Quebec, Canada for the Colloquium?  There were differing opinions in our team of three but overall we felt that

  • we gained little nuggets of information that have since led us to make changes to our practice, mainly around title registration
  • it allowed us time to work together on aspects of our processes and procedures, essentially the creation of ‘standards’, to improve the efficiency of our systematic review writing and management process, as well and the recruitment of new Editors to our Group
  • it gave us a chance to put faces to names; meeting with existing, new and potential Editors and AuthorsView of Quebec city from the convention centre
  • it helped us to recognise the importance of our Group within the Cochrane Collaboration.  During the Poster sessions our Group was mentioned as an example of good practice (Cochrane Journal Club: meeting the expectations of our growing membership), while other posters illustrated research that missed out our contributions (The Study of Reporting Quality of Randomized Controlled Trials in Systematic Reviews of Acupuncture) or demonstrated openness to new ways of working, most of which we have already adopted in our Group e.g. the implementation of a Social Media strategy and the conducting of a study into the impact of tweeting mental health reviews.

Overall though, we agreed that most of the gain was from meeting up with each other to thrash out new ideas and evaluate how we are currently working.  We didn’t quite need to go all the way to Quebec to do this as we have since reflected.  A conference such as this can be useful to stimulate conversations and new ideas, but in this case perhaps our time and money could have been better spent getting together in the UK and dialing into aspects of the conference that were of relevance and interest…if such a facility was made available.  So what’s the plan now?  Two-day meetings at six monthly intervals to give us the time we need to discuss and move forward with ideas.  Sometimes to make things happen you need time to talk about it, to crash heads together, in effect, to work collaboratively effectively.

We will be going to the 22nd Cochrane Colloquium in Hyderabad, India to support our Editor, Prathap Tharyan (follow the activities leading up to the colloquium via Twitter and Facebook).  

Hyderabad colloquium

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My first 40 days as a Trials Search Coordinator (TSC) in the CSzG

By Farhad Shokraneh, TSC for the CSzG

United Kingdom: stamp

United Kingdom: stamp (Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)

I used to be a Librarian or as we are now known as, an ‘information specialist’.  Even as young boy, age 12, I had a small library at home with coded books.  But about ten years later, I noticed my real interest when I got involved with the Iranian Center for Evidence-Based Medicine where I attended Prof. Paul Glasziou’s workshop.  It was like discovering a new continent in the science world for me.  I chose my field and I continued my ambitions to be a Cochrane Librarian, or as it is known in the Cochrane world, a Trial Search Coordinator (TSC).  Well, it did not happen over night, it took me three years to get the minimum requirements before deciding to apply for this job.  While applying, I was just worried about two things (including the results of course): Read the rest of this entry »

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Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA) Author training

Dates:

English: Aston Webb Hall, Birmingham University

English: Aston Webb Hall, Birmingham University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. September 26th 2013 – Module 1: Preparation for title registration
  2. October 24th 2013 – Module 2: Protocol production and searching
  3. November 14th 2013 – Module 3: Progressing your review

 Venue:  Birmingham University

Cost:  FREE to all authors affiliated to a UK-based Cochrane Review Group and to authors resident in the UK and affiliated to a non-UK based Cochrane Review Group Read the rest of this entry »

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Data, Outcomes, Uncertainty and Graphs: Advances and Limitations in Trials, Meta-Analysis, and Novelties

Cochrane Collaboration

Cochrane Collaboration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Date: Tuesday, 24th September 2013

Time:  09:00 – 16:00

Venue:  The Amphitheatre,  Université Laval, Québec

Cost:  £40 GBP/64 CAD (open to those not attending the Colloquium) Read the rest of this entry »

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Technology; making the review writing process more efficient and accurate


This is a follow up to the post 
Ferreting in CRS and RevMan…it’s technical

Health Info Mgmt students from Ulm

The plan:

Six months.

Two Information Management and Healthcare students from the University of Applied Sciences in Ulm, Germany.

Two great projects that enhance the systematic review writing process within the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group.

The result:

A program called ‘Ferret’ was created.  Its purpose: To find both hardcopy and electronic sources of studies relating to a particular subject e.g. Cannabis for schizophrenia (due to be updated if anyone’s interested, loud hint), Read the rest of this entry »

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