Our vision is that healthcare decision-making throughout the world will be informed by high-quality, timely research evidence."
The Cochrane Collaboration is an international network of more than 28,000 dedicated people from over 100 countries. We work together to help healthcare practitioners, policy-makers, patients, their advocates and carers, make well-informed decisions about health care, by preparing, updating, and promoting the accessibility of Cochrane Reviews – over 5,000 so far, published online in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, part of The Cochrane Library. We also prepare the largest collection of records of randomised controlled trials in the world, called CENTRAL, published as part of The Cochrane Library.
Our work is internationally recognised as the benchmark for high quality information about the effectiveness of health care.
We believe in equal partnerships
The Collaboration believes that effective health care is created through equal partnerships between researcher, provider, practitioner and patient.
Cochrane Reviews are unique because they are both produced by, and are relevant to, everyone interested in the effects of human health care. Based on the best available evidence, healthcare providers can decide if they should fund production of a particular drug. Practitioners can find out if an intervention is effective in a specific clinical context. Patients and other healthcare consumers can assess the potential risks and benefits of their treatment.
“The Cochrane Collaboration has a special interest in involving people from all walks of life to participate in its activities and provides considerable support to enable this. This heady mix of social relevance, good science, altruism and global partnership makes The Cochrane Collaboration one of the most valuable and exciting enterprises in the world today.”
- Prathap Tharyan, Director of the South Asian Cochrane Centre and Network, Vellore, India
We have no geographical boundaries
The Cochrane Collaboration’s contributors are a mix of volunteers and paid staff who are affiliated to the organisation through Cochrane entities: healthcare subject-related review groups, thematic networks (called 'fields'), groups concerned with the methodology of systematic reviews, and regional centres.
Many are world leaders in their field of medicine, health policy, research methodology or consumer advocacy, and our entities are situated in some of the world’s finest academic and medical institutions.
It is possible to think of the Collaboration not just as a material organisation, but also as an ideology to which people align themselves.
“Being part of The Cochrane Collaboration is more than a publication or a job. It's a network of colleagues, advisors and friends that spans the globe - an incomparable opportunity to learn, collaborate and share with some amazing people.”
- Miranda Cumpston, Cochrane Training Co-ordinator, based at the Australasian Cochrane Centre
There is no one place or office that is ‘The Cochrane Collaboration’. Our contributors and entities are based all around the world and the majority of our work is carried out online. Each entity is a ‘mini-organisation’ in itself, with its own funding, website and workload. Contributors affiliate themselves to an entity, or in some cases several entities, based on their interests, expertise and/or geographical location.
The Cochrane Collaboration is named after Archie Cochrane (1909-1988), a British epidemiologist, who advocated the use of randomised controlled trials as a means of reliably informing healthcare practice. We are an independent, not-for-profit organisation, funded by a variety of sources including governments, universities, hospital trusts, charities and personal donations.
We do not accept commercial or conflicted funding – this is vital for us to generate authoritative and reliable information, produced by people who can work freely, unconstrained by commercial and financial interests."
Find out more about the Collaboration’s funding here.
We are democratically led
The Collaboration is registered as a charity in the United Kingdom. To tie the organisation together, we have a number of overarching structures, led by the Steering Group, which provides policy and strategic leadership for the organisation. Members of this group are democratically elected from, and by, our contributors.
We also have a Cochrane Operations Unit, based in Oxford, UK, which manages the financial, legal and administrative work of the organisation, led by the Chief Executive Officer of the Collaboration; and a Cochrane Editorial Unit, based in London, UK, which supports Cochrane Review production, editorial processes, and training and methods development, led by the Editor in Chief of The Cochrane Library.
"The Cochrane Collaboration is a recognised leader in its field, with a global reputation for the quality and integrity of its work in promoting evidence-based health care."
- Mark Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of The Cochrane Collaboration
We hold annual conferences, known as ‘Colloquia’, which are open to everyone. Colloquia are designed to bring people together in one place to discuss, develop and promote our work, and to shape the organisation’s future direction. The 2012 Cochrane Colloquium was held in Auckland, New Zealand, in October.
We advocate evidence-based decision-making
In addition to our core mission of producing Cochrane Reviews, our contributors are involved in a number of related activities, including advocacy for evidence-based decision-making, providing training in Cochrane Review preparation, developing the methodology for preparing reviews, and translating them from English into a variety of different languages.
Find out more about the Collaboration’s structure and management here.
“The Cochrane Collaboration is a place for you to look for healthcare information, share ideas, contribute time, and find friends. Wherever you are from, whatever language you speak, The Cochrane Collaboration welcomes your participation!”
- Maoling Wei, Review author, and member of the Consumer Network, Chengdu, China
We hold Official Relations with the WHO
In January 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) awarded the Collaboration a seat on the World Health Assembly. This provides the Collaboration an opportunity to promote evidence-based health care at the highest levels of international health care policy-setting. Read more, here.