Cochrane launches new Study Register to support rapid evidence synthesis in the global challenge to combat COVID-19

Today, Cochrane announces the launch of its COVID-19 Study Register – a one-stop shop for primary research studies on COVID-19. 

The aim of the register is to support rapid evidence synthesis by all systematic review producers, including Cochrane's work on Rapid Reviews in response to COVID-19. The register helps systematic reviewers prioritize topics, identify available evidence, and produce urgently needed reviews for front-line health professionals, public health policymakers, and research teams developing new therapeutic, diagnostic, and preventive interventions for COVID-19. 

The new COVID-19 Study Register will be continually updated with human studies on COVID-19. It is the latest initiative by Cochrane, a global network of health-researchers, producing high-quality, relevant, and up-to-date synthesized research evidence in response to COVID-19.

Within weeks of launch, the COVID-19 Study Register, which already consists of more than 1200 studies, will develop with more study references from additional sources, including the addition of PICO metadata to enhance discoverability of the studies in the register. It will also develop new features such as surveillance alerts to assist identification of evidence arising from the growing global response of ongoing health research about COVID-19.

Cochrane’s Editor in Chief, Karla Soares-Weiser, said this is a huge stride forward in providing a place for rapid evidence synthesis: “Cochrane has launched a critically important study-based register that clearly states the eligibility criteria and sources we are currently running through our centralized search and initial curation processes. The primary use case for this register is to support evidence synthesis efforts such as living systematic reviews, living network meta-analyses, and rapid reviews, all fed by living guidance related to COVID-19.”

She added: “The curation of this Study Register has been an important effort achieved in the past few weeks, led by Cochrane’s central executive team working rapidly with our development partners, Data Language and Metaxis.”

Cochrane’s Head of Information Technology, Chief Information Officer and project lead, Chris Mavergames, said: “Cochrane has been working for several years on technological solutions and processes to improve efficiency in evidence synthesis and move toward a ‘living evidence ecosystem’ model. COVID-19 presents a formidable challenge, and we will use our data curation and synthesis tools to assist in rapidly addressing the most important questions for global decision-makers. This Study Register represents a key pillar in that effort.”

Isabelle Boutron, Centre d'épidémiologie clinique, Centre de Recherche Épidémiologie et Statistiques, Cochrane France, leads a key project to synthesize COVID-19 evidence. She commented: “Cochrane’s COVID-19 Study Register helps us synthesize primary studies faster for our Living Network Meta-analysis and provide the relevant evidence to support researchers who are actively working to accelerate the development of diagnostics, preventive interventions, therapeutics and vaccines.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2020