Cochrane Mexico's 'citizen scientist' event contributes to global research efforts

3rd Cochrane Crowd Mexico Challenge tshirts

Cochrane Crowd is a global community of volunteers who are helping to classify the research needed to support informed decision-making about health care. Cochrane Mexico recently hosted its third screening challenge that helped introduce students to randomized control trials and evidence assessment. This event not only fostered the value of evidence synthesis among students but also made a significant contribution to ongoing global research efforts. 

What is Cochrane Crowd?
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 quickly find the evidence they need to determine whether a treatment works, or whether a diagnostic test is accurate.

Cochrane Mexico student event involved 31 universities  

The Cochrane Mexico Associated Centre at Sinaloa’s Pediatric Hospital,  the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, and the Mexican Association of Doctors in Training hosted their third Cochrane Crowd challenge. The first two challenges (held in 2018 and 2022) were limited to the Autonomous University of Sinaloa's students. This year, all Mexican medical schools were invited to participate and two students per university were selected.

59 students from 31 universities virtually participated, conducting 65,958 classifications in Cochrane Crowd in 24 hours. In total 3093 randomized clinical trials were identified. 59 medical students completed the 24 hours with more than 1000 classifications received Cochrane Memberships. First place was Pavel Martínez, from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, who made 1104 classifications and had an accuracy of 97%.

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, Cochrane’s Evidence Pipeline Lead. “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:

Friday, December 1, 2023