Cochrane Crowd is a global community of volunteers who are helping to classify the research needed to support informed decision-making about health care. Recently Cochrane Mexico held an in-person screening challenge that helped introduce students to randomized control trials and evidence assessment while contributing to global research efforts.
The job of the Cochrane Crowd community is to review descriptions of research studies to identify and classify randomized controlled trials (RCTs), a type of study that is considered the gold standard for clinical trials. Reports of RCTs are then fed into Cochrane’s Central Register of Controlled Trials, helping Cochrane authors and other systematic reviewers around the world quickly find the evidence they need to determine whether a treatment works, or whether a diagnostic test is accurate.
8,000 RCTs identified in 24-hour student event
The Cochrane Mexico Associated Centre at Sinaloa’s Pediatric Hospital and the Autonomous University of Sinaloa took on their second in-person Cochrane Crowd challenge. For 24 hours students from both logged into Cochrane Crowd, screened studies, and identified RCTs. In total, 579 students performed more than 250,000 classifications, which identified 8,712 RCTs. This 24-hour event topped the number of RCTs identified in Cochrane Mexico’s first Cochrane Crowd event in 2018, which lasted for 3 days.
Students who screened more than 1,000 records received their Cochrane membership . In addition, evidence-based medicine books were awarded to all those who exceeded 1,000 classifications, had a sensitivity greater than 95%, and an overall accuracy greater than 70% to identify clinical trials.
Giordano Perez-Gaxiola, director of Cochrane Mexico and key challenge organizer, says: “Cochrane Crowd is a great introduction to systematic reviews and randomized control trials for students. Having students participate in a time-limited challenge is a fun way to engage students and was simple for us to set-up. The students exceeded all our expectations this year and we are so proud of them! Many of the students enjoyed it so much and could see results of their efforts for global health research that they are continuing to do screening on Cochrane Crowd!”
Anyone can join Cochrane Crowd and no previous experience is necessary
“Cochrane sends its thanks to all those involved in this citizen scientist challenge using Cochrane Crowd – what an amazing achievement in just 24 hours!” says Anna Noel-Storr, Head of Cochrane’s Evidence Pipeline. “We hope these students inspire everyone to give Cochrane Crowd a try. From medical students, to clinicians, to anyone with an interest in health research – being a part of Cochrane Crowd can help individuals develop skills in understanding health evidence while collectively contributing to global research efforts.”
Has Cochrane Mexico inspired you to organise a Cochrane Crowd challenge at your workplace or university? If so, please get in contact and we will support you to get one up and running: firstname.lastname@example.org.