History

As part of a series of events to mark our 20th Anniversary in 2013, twenty-four videos - the Cochrane20 Video Series - were created focusing on the ideas, achievements and people that have contributed to its growth since 1993. The following two videos give a retrospective of Cochrane's beginnings and achievements of the past two decades and the challenges of Cochrane's first years.

#1: Twenty years of The Cochrane Collaboration:
Looking back on the search for evidence
#5: The early years of The Cochrane Collaboration

 

Chronology

of significant events and milestones in Cochrane's history

Nov 2013

The first systematic review of qualitative studies is published in The Cochrane Library.

Sept 2013

21st Cochrane Colloquium, Quebec City, Canada

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Quebec City, Canada

May 2013

Cochrane's Twitter feed, @cochranecollab, reaches 20,000 followers

April 2013

Cochrane becomes one of the AllTrials campaign's (for registration and reporting of all clinical trials) principal supporters and organisers

Mar 2013

Mid-year meeting of the Steering Group and management committees in Oxford, UK

Collaboration strategic session on 'Cochrane Strategy to 2020'

Jan 2013

New publishing arrangement signed between Cochrane and John Wiley & Sons

Nov 2012

Mark Wilson appointed as Chief Executive Officer to The Cochrane Collaboration

Oct 2012

20th Cochrane Colloquium, Auckland, New Zealand

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Auckland, New Zealand

April 2012

Mid-year meeting of the Steering Group and management committees in Paris, France

Collaboration strategic session on 'Cochrane content'

The Cochrane Collaboration's Twitter feed, @cochranecollab, reaches 10,000 followers

March 2012

The number of Cochrane Reviews in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews exceeds 5,000

Jan 2012

Publication of CENTRAL increases from quarterly to monthly with the launch of the Cochrane Register of Studies

Oct 2011

19th Cochrane Colloquium, Madrid, Spain

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Madrid, Spain

April 2011

Mid-year meeting of the Steering Group and management committees in Split, Croatia

Collaboration strategic session on enabling wide participation

Jan 2011

The Cochrane Collaboration accepted as a Non-Governmental Organization in Official Relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), the public health arm of the United Nations, establishing formalised communication between the two organisations.

Oct 2010

Joint Colloquium of the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations in Keystone, CO, USA

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Keystone, CO, USA

Publication of The Cochrane Collaboration's first Annual Report

Sept 2010 Justice Health Field registered

Comparing Multiple Interventions Methods Group registered

June 2010

French Cochrane Centre registered

March 2010

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Auckland, New Zealand

Jan 2010 Online publication of CDSR increases from quarterly to monthly
Dec 2009 Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group registered
Oct 2009

17th Cochrane Colloquium in Singapore

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Singapore

June 2009

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews ranked 12 out of 107 worldwide journals in ISI Thomson's Medicine, General and Internal category for journals, with an Impact Factor of 5.182 for 2008

April 2009

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Vedbaek, Denmark

March 2009 Nursing Care Field registered
Jan 2009

Total number of published Cochrane Reviews and protocols reached 5,676 in Issue 1, 2009 of The Cochrane Library

Oct 2008

16th Cochrane Colloquium in Freiburg, Germany

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Freiburg

July 2008

South Asian Cochrane Centre registered

June 2008 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews ranked 14 out of 100 worldwide journals in ISI Thomson's Medicine, General and Internal category for journals, with an Impact Factor of 4.654 for 2007
April 2008

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Vellore, India

Public Health Group registered

Feb 2008 Prognosis Methods Group registered
Oct 2007

15th Cochrane Colloquium in São Paulo, Brazil

Meeting of elected Steering Group in São Paulo, Brazil

April 2007

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Feb 2007 National access to The Cochrane Library in India
Dec 2006

Developing Countries Network registered (changed to Developing Countries Field in March 2010)

Oct 2006

14th Cochrane Colloquium in Dublin, Ireland

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Dublin, Ireland

May 2006

Childhood Cancer Group registered

April 2006

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Khon Kaen, Thailand

Oct 2005

13th Cochrane Colloquium in Melbourne, Australia

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Melbourne, Australia

July 2005

Health Equity Field registered

The Lancet announces that, from August 2005, it will require authors submitting manuscripts reporting clinical trials to include a clear summary of previous research findings, ideally by direct reference to a systematic review

March/April 2005

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Providence, USA

Jan 2005 National access to The Cochrane Library in Sweden
Oct 2004

12th Cochrane Colloquium in Ottawa, Canada

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Ottawa, Canada

July 2004

Total number of published Cochrane Reviews reaches 2,000 in Issue 3, 2004 of The Cochrane Library

Feb/Mar 2004 Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Bergamo, Italy
Jan 2004

The Cochrane Collaboration was awarded the 2004 Premio Homenot Internacional de la Sanidad for excellence in healthcare research at an Awards Ceremony in the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, Spain. The ceremony was attended by both the Spanish and the Catalonian Ministers of Health. Previous winners of this prestigious award include BMJ and the Harvard School of Public Health. In her speech, Sra Ana Pastor, Minister of Health for Spain, praised The Cochrane Collaboration "for its magnificent work and contributions by performing systematic reviews of health interventions and facilitating the accessibility of these to health professionals and to citizens." In his speech of acknowledgement on behalf of all recipients of awards at the ceremony, Dr Felipe Sánchez de la Cuesta, pharmacologist and winner of the Homenot Nacional award for 2003, remarked "we will never be grateful enough to The Cochrane Collaboration for its efforts and initiatives in promoting evidence-based medicine."

Dec 2003

 

National access to The Cochrane Library in Denmark

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Freiburg, Germany

Oct 2003

11th Cochrane Colloquium in Barcelona, Spain

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Barcelona, Spain

Launch of Cochrane Library Plus en espanol

June 2003

Total number of published Cochrane Reviews and protocols reaches 3,000

April 2003

Chief Executive Officer appointed to The Cochrane Collaboration

March 2003

New publishing agreement signed between The Cochrane Collaboration and John Wiley and Sons Limited

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Melbourne, Australia

The Methodology Review Group changed from being a Methods Group to a Cochrane Review Group, becoming The Cochrane Collaboration's fiftieth Review Group

Oct 2002

The Cochrane Library made free at the point of use to anyone with Internet access in Australia

Sept 2002

Closure of French Cochrane Centre

July/Aug 2002

10th Cochrane Colloquium in Stavanger, Norway

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Stavanger, Norway

Apr 2002

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Chengdu, China

The Cochrane Library made free at the point of use to anyone with Internet access in England (via the National Electronic Library for Health - NeLH)

The Cochrane Library made free at the point of use for access under the HINARI scheme for developing countries

Mar 2002

The Cochrane Library made free at the point of use to anyone with Internet access in Finland and Norway

Special issue of 'Evaluation and the Health Professions' published on The Cochrane Collaboration

Feb 2002

At the launch of island of Ireland access, Ms Bairbre de Brún (Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland) said, "This is a very welcome and important development. Making quality health information available to the general public in an easily accessible way is a key priority." Micheál Martin (Minister for Health and Children, Ireland) said, "Anyone on the island of Ireland with access to the Internet will now be able to use what is regarded as the world's best single source of evidence on the effects of different forms of health care."

Jan 2002

South African Medical Journal adopts policy (similar to Lancet in June 2001) of co-publication of Cochrane Reviews (SAMJ 2002;92(1):1)

The Cochrane Library made free at the point of use to anyone with Internet access on the island of Ireland (first country-wide access to The Cochrane Library)

Dec 2001

Chris Silagy, former Chair of the Steering Group, died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

'Informing Judgment: Case studies of health policy and research in six countries', co-published with the Milbank Memorial Fund, 2001, 200 pages

Nov 2001

Placebo Methods Group disbanded

Oct 2001

9th Cochrane Colloquium in Lyon, France

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Lyon, France

Jun 2001

Lancet adopts policy of accepting submissions of reviews already on The Cochrane Library (Lancet 2001;359:1729)

May 2001

Health-Related Quality of Life Methods Group registered (changed to Patient Reported Outcomes Methods Group in March 2005)

Feb 2001

Reporting Bias Methods Group registered

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in São Paulo,Brazil

Jan 2001

Number of Cochrane Reviews published in The Cochrane Library reaches 1,000

Nov 2000

Information Retrieval Methods Group disbanded

Informatics Methods Group disbanded

Oct 2000

Hematological Malignancies Group registered

8th Cochrane Colloquium in Cape Town, South Africa

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Cape Town, South Africa

Jul 2000

San Antonio Cochrane Centre closed

Mar 2000

Neurological Network registered (changed to Neurological Field in March 2010)

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in San Antonio, Texas, USA

Feb 2000

Child Health Field registered

Anaesthesia Group registered

Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Group registered

British Secretary of State for Education and Employment announces the establishment of a new Centre for Evidence-informed Policy and Practice to "build on the very successful Cochrane Collaboration in health care research", drawing attention to the quality control of systematic reviews "being pioneered through The Cochrane Collaboration initiative and the proposed Campbell Collaboration".

Inaugural meeting of the Campbell Collaboration convened by Robert Boruch at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (see http://www.campbellcollaboration.com/)

Nov 1999

Non-Randomised Studies Methods Group registered

Oct 1999

7th Cochrane Colloquium in Rome, Italy

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Rome, Italy

First discussions held about establishing joint Cochrane-Campbell Methods Groups

July 1999

July 1999 Exploratory meeting at the School of Public Policy, University College London decides to establish the Campbell Collaboration - a sibling collaboration to The Cochrane Collaboration - to prepare, maintain and disseminate systematic reviews of social and educational interventions (see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/publications/campbell.htm)

May 1999

Prospective Meta-analysis Methods Group registered

Mar 1999

Chinese Cochrane Centre registered

Jan 1999

BMJ adopts policy of accepting submissions of reviews already on The Cochrane Library (BMJ 1999;318:142)

Dec 1998

Back Group registered

Nov 1998

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Group registered

Oct 1998

6th Cochrane Colloquium in Baltimore, USA

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Baltimore, USA

Collaboration Trading Company Limited registered under English law

Sept 1998

Lung Cancer Group registered

Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Group registered

Health Economics Methods Group registered (changed to Economics Methods Group in July 2005)

July 1998

Heart Group registered

Musculoskeletal Injuries Group registered (changed to Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group in April 2005)

June 1998

Upper Gastrointestinal & Pancreatic Diseases Group registered

Academy of UK Medical Royal Colleges officially recognises systematic reviews as academically important research

Mar 1998

Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group registered

HIV/AIDS Group registered

Neuromuscular Diseases Group registered

Reprint of Cochrane's Effectiveness and Efficiency with an introduction and forward by the directors of the Australasian and UK Cochrane Centres respectively

Feb 1998 Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in Cape Town, South Africa
Jan 1998

Drugs and Alcohol Group registered

Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group registered

Colorectal Cancer Group registered

Dec 1997

Multiple Sclerosis Group registered

Skin Group registered

Increasing acknowledgement that The Cochrane Library is the best single source of evidence about the effects of health care, and that The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register is the most comprehensive register of controlled trials available

Nov 1997 GlaxoWellcome announces intention to register prospectively all the company's ongoing trials through The Cochrane Collaboration
Oct 1997

5th Cochrane Colloquium in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (in association with the 2nd meeting on the 'Scientific Basis of Health Services')

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Centro Cochrane Español (Spanish Cochrane Centre) registered (name changed to Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre in July 2000)

Deutsches Cochrane Zentrum (German Cochrane Centre) registered

Consumers and Communication Group registered

Sept 1997 Research presented showing that Cochrane Reviews are methodologically superior to and less subject to publication bias than reviews published in the major print journals
June 1997

Fertility Regulation Group registered

Cancer Network registered (deregistered in November 2009)

Apr 1997

Electronic Comments and Criticisms System launched within Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Eyes and Vision Group registered

Mar 1997

Random Reflections on Health Services Research published to mark the 25th anniversary of Cochrane's Effectiveness and Efficiency

Renal Group registered

Feb 1997

Mid-year meeting of Steering Group, Centre Directors and others in San Francisco, USA

Injuries Group registered

Jan 1997

Cochrane Collaboration and Update Software sign Special Agreement

Applicability and Recommendations Methods Group registered

Dec 1996 Prostatic Diseases and Urologic Cancers Group registered
Nov 1996

Gynaecological Cancer Group registered

Schering Health Care Ltd. provides The Cochrane Collaboration with information about all the company's ongoing trials

Oct 1996

4th Cochrane Colloquium in Adelaide, Australia

Meeting of elected Steering Group in Adelaide, Australia

South African Cochrane Centre registered

Sept 1996

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews available on the World Wide Web

Epilepsy Group registered

Breast Cancer Group registered

Aug 1996

Strategic Planning Meeting in Oslo, Norway; 2nd meeting of elected Steering Group

Centro Cochrane do Brasil (Brazilian Cochrane Centre) registered

Placebo Effects Methods Group registered

July 1996 Vaccines Field registered
June 1996

Movement Disorders Group registered

Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group registered

Incontinence Group registered

Complementary Medicine Field registered

President of the Royal Statistical Society proposes 'analogues' of The Cochrane Collaboration to assess the effects of social and educational interventions, and thus improve the quality of public debate on these issues as well as on health care

May 1996

New England Cochrane Center registered

Hypertension Group registered

Apr 1996

The Cochrane Library launched by Update Software as a quarterly publication on CD-ROM and disk, incorporating The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, The Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register and The Cochrane Review Methodology Database

Rehabilitation and Related Therapies Field registered

Health Care of Older People Field registered

Mar 1996

Hepato-Biliary Group registered

Trials Registers Development Group initiated

Feb 1996

Last meeting of first Steering Group and first meeting of elected Steering Group in San Francisco, USA

Centre Cochrane Français (French Cochrane Centre) registered

Jan 1996 Health Promotion Field registered
Nov 1995

Elections for new Steering Group

Funds awarded to the Collaboration by the European Union for "coordinating and extending the preparation, maintenance and dissemination of systematic reviews of health care within The Cochrane Collaboration in Europe"

UK Higher Education Funding Councils list systematic reviews (of the Cochrane type) among the quality criteria for the 1996 Research Assessment exercise

Oct 1995

3rd Cochrane Colloquium in Oslo, Norway

Meeting of Steering Group in Oslo, Norway

Consumer Network registered

Sept 1995 Cystic Fibrosis Group registered
Aug 1995

Tobacco Addiction Group registered

Dementia and Cognitive Impairment Group registered (changed to Dementia & Cognitive Improvement in May 2000)

Menstrual Disorders Group registered

Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group registered

July 1995

Airways Group registered

Coding and Classification Methods Group registered

May 1995 Cochrane Collaboration registered as a Company and a Charity under English law
Apr 1995

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews launched in London by the English Minister for Health

San Antonio Cochrane Center registered

Wounds Group registered

Article in The Lancet suggests that "The Cochrane Collaboration is an enterprise that rivals the Human Genome Project in its potential implications for modern medicine"

Feb 1995

Software Development Group established

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Group registered (changed to Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Functional Bowel Disorders Group in April 2005)

Dec 1994

Empirical Methodological Studies Methods Group registered

Informatics Methods Group registered

Statistics and Quality of RCTs Methods Group registered

Individual Patient Data Meta-analyses Methods Group registered

Nov 1994

Diabetes Group registered

San Francisco Cochrane Center registered (changed to United States Cochrane Center, San Francisco Branch in December 2002)

Oct 1994

2nd Cochrane Colloquium, Hamilton, Canada

Meeting of Steering Group, Hamilton, Canada

First public demonstration of The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, designed by Update Software

Dutch Cochrane Centre registered

Peripheral Vascular Disease Group registered

Aug 1994 Acute Respiratory Infections Group registered
July 1994 Behaviour Change Field registered (changed to Effective Professional Practice Group, and then to Effective Practice & Organisation of Care in March 1998)
June 1994

Centro Cochrane Italiano (Italian Cochrane Centre) registered

Oral Health Group registered

Schizophrenia Group registered

May 1994

Publication of Cochrane Collaboration Handbook

Release of Version 1 of Review Manager (RevMan) software

Infectious Diseases Group registered

Feb 1994

First meeting of Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Australasian Cochrane Centre registered

Dec 1993

Funds awarded by the European Union to the Cochrane Centres in Europe "to identify reports of controlled trials in general health care journals in Europe"

US National Library of Medicine agrees to improve the identification of controlled trials by re tagging MEDLINE records using information provided by The Cochrane Collaboration

Nov 1993 Musculoskeletal Group registered
Oct 1993

Formal launch of The Cochrane Collaboration at the 1st Cochrane Colloquium, in Oxford, UK

Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group nominated and appointed by participants at the 1st Colloquium

Nordic Cochrane Centre registered

Baltimore Cochrane Center registered (changed to New England Cochrane Center at Providence and subsequently to United States Cochrane Center in December 2002)

Collaboration in Primary Health Care Field registered (changed to Primary Health Care Field in August 2004)

Aug 1993

Stroke Group registered

Canadian Cochrane Centre registered

June 1993 Development of Cochrane Collaboration Handbook begins with arrival of 1st Cochrane Visiting Fellow at the UK Cochrane Centre
Mar 1993

First Cochrane Centre renamed 'The UK Cochrane Centre'

Concept of The Cochrane Collaboration presented at a conference ('Doing more good than harm') organised by Kenneth Warren and Frederic Mosteller at the New York Academy of Sciences

Apr 1993

Update Software reissues The Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials (ODPT) as a redesigned pilot electronic journal entitled The Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Database (CCPC)

Mar 1993

Neonatal Group registered

Nov 1992

Additional funds to promote the mission of the Cochrane Centre pledged by the Nuffield Provincial Hospitals Trust and the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care

Oct 1992

'The Cochrane Centre' opens in Oxford, UK

Pregnancy and Childbirth Group registered

Subfertility Group registered

Jun 1992

Meeting at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada of Iain Chalmers, Gordon Guyatt, Brian Haynes, Andy Oxman, Jeremy Wyatt and eight others to establish basic principles for a global organisation to "support the fledgling Cochrane Centre".

Feb 1992

Encouraged by the reception given to the systematic reviews of care during pregnancy and childbirth, Michael Peckham, first Director of Research & Development in the British National Health Service, approves funding for 'a Cochrane Centre' "to facilitate the preparation of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials of health care"

1992

Publication of Effective Care of the Newborn Infant (ECNI)

1989-92

Maintenance of systematic reviews of controlled trials of perinatal care in 6-monthly disk issues of an electronic journal, The Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials (ODPT)

1989

Output of collaborative work begins with publication of: Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (ECPC),
A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (GECPC),
and
The Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials (ODPT)

1985-90

International collaboration to prepare systematic reviews of controlled trials in pregnancy and childbirth and the neonatal period

1985

Publication of classified bibliography of 3500 reports of controlled trials in perinatal medicine published between 1940 and 1984

US Public Health Service and English Department of Health fund work in Oxford and Baltimore to identify unpublished controlled trials in perinatal medicine and to investigate publication bias

1979

Archie Cochrane publishes an essay in which he suggests that "It is surely a great criticism of our profession that we have not organised a critical summary, by specialty or subspecialty, adapted periodically, of all relevant randomised controlled trials." He also designates obstetrics the least scientific medical specialty!

1978

World Health Organization and UK Department of Health fund work at National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Oxford, UK to assemble a register of controlled trials in perinatal medicine

1976

Outline plans drafted in Cardiff, Wales, UK for systematic reviews of controlled trials in perinatal medicine

1974

Identification of controlled trials in perinatal medicine begins in Cardiff, Wales, UK

1972

Publication of Archie Cochrane's Effectiveness and Efficiency: random reflections on health services (temporarily out of print; new edition scheduled for early 2013), which drew attention to our collective ignorance about the effects of health care

Updated on: December 12, 2013, 13:20

Comments for improvement or correction are welcome.
Email: web@cochrane.org