Notes from the Canadian Review Update Course – Halifax, June 2012

The Nova Scotia Cochrane Resource Centre (NSCRC), in partnership with the Canadian Cochrane Centre, held a five-day Update Completion Course in Halifax, Nova Scotia during the week of 18-22 June 2012.  Lara Killian, Research Co-Ordinator at the NSCRC, kept a blog at http://cochrane.che.dal.ca/ throughout the course to update colleagues on the course progress and activities; we’ve reposted some of the highlights here. Thanks also to Erin Ueffing of the Canadian Cochrane Centre, who provided the images.

Day One: Eight authors joined us today and a ninth author will join our group tomorrow; the three onsite mentors are also Cochrane authors, so there are 12 of us working on our Reviews this week. We have authors from Vancouver to Newfoundland, with seven provinces represented! The goal of the week is to provide protected research time and space so that these authors are able to complete a needed update of a Review project.

Day Two: The second day of our course is drawing to a close, with a lot of learning and some serious productivity already under our belts. All nine visiting authors and three mentor authors have been sharing knowledge to help each other overcome stumbling blocks, in addition to attending organized teaching sessions to get up to date on topics relevant to completing Cochrane Reviews and Cochrane Review updates.

At the end of each day we meet in small groups to update each other on our progress and make goals for the next day’s work – it’s helpful to hear informally from other authors about their progress in accomplishing specific tasks, as well as to discuss ways to handle challenges that have come up during the day.

Mid-Week: Our course has passed the midway point, and plans are starting to be laid for what steps authors will take after this week of protected work time has come to an end.

Lunchtime on Wednesday was a special event, as the participants of the Cochrane Review update session shared in a networking lunch hosted by the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine, headed by Dr Adrian Levy. CH&E has graciously provided work space and resources to the visiting researchers this week, and a group lunch was a great opportunity for faculty and staff in the department to meet the visitors they’ve seen in the halls.

Wrap Up: On Friday afternoon we completed the planned activities for the course and wished our visiting authors well with completing their Reviews. Each participant drafted a plan for next steps to follow up on, and wrote two postcards to themselves, one to be mailed in a few weeks and the other in a few months. The postcards detail the steps that should have been completed within that time frame. We hope a personalized reminder will help motivate authors to get those updates finished!

Preliminary feedback indicates that the week was a great success, and we certainly hope to be able to offer similar protected research time and support in the future, as well as to share our experience with anyone interested in conducting a similar session!

Are you a Cochrane author interested in training opportunities like this one? Information on a variety of training resources available to Cochrane authors worldwide can be found on Cochrane Training.

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Updated on: October 10, 2012, 22:34

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