Editorials

Revisiting the Cochrane Collaboration

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7317.821 (Published 13 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:821

This article has a correction. Please see:

Meeting the challenge of Archie Cochrane—and facing up to some new ones

  1. Mike Clarke, associate director,
  2. Peter Langhorne, professor
  1. Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G4 0SF
  2. Academic Section of Geriatric Medicine, UK Cochrane Centre, Oxford, OX 7LG

    See also Papers p 829

    It is surely a great criticism of our profession that we have not organised a critical summary, by specialty or subspecialty, updated periodically, of all relevant randomised controlled trials.

    Archie Cochrane, 19791

    In 1992, Iain Chalmers and colleagues wrote an editorial in the BMJ that began with the above quotation and set out challenges foreseen at the time of the opening of what became the first Cochrane Centre, in Oxford.2 Some of these challenges have been met, some remain, and new ones have arisen as the centre which is now the Cochrane Collaboration strives to prepare and keep up to date systematic reviews of the effects of healthcare interventions.

    At the time, the major hurdle facing reviewers was identifying relevant randomised trials, and the editorial described efforts to make the task easier. Nine years on, these efforts have contributed to the Cochrane controlled trials …

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