The Cochrane Author Survey
The aim of this survey was to better understand the review process from the authors’ perspective to identify strategies which could improve the process for authors and Cochrane Review Groups. The objectives were to identify: problems and barriers for authors of Cochrane reviews and protocols, resources that had been helpful for authors, and strategies that could improve the process for authors.
An online survey was advertised to all authors of published protocols and reviews, CCNet, and the Cochrane website. Data were collected from August to October 2008. All responses were anonymous. Sixty‐seven per cent of the 1784 authors who responded said they would do another review with the Collaboration and 88% agreed that ʹOverall, working with The Cochrane Collaboration as an author has been a positive experienceʹ. A high proportion (88%) of authors acknowledged the support that had been given to them by their Review Group. Training was also considered helpful, but limited access to training was a problem for many authors and a common suggestion for improved support. Online methods of
training were suggested by a number of authors. Time was the biggest problem for authors being cited by 96% of respondents.
Overall, although most authors were very positive about their experience with the Collaboration, this needs to be taken in context with the low overall response rate. Barriers and possible solutions identified by respondents can be used to inform strategies (which are currently being created) which may improve the process of authoring a Cochrane review for authors and those that support authors. A full copy of the results and recommendations of the Author Survey and a copy of the survey can be found here.
Donna Gillies, Author Representative of the Steering Group