A Cochrane Information Specialist’s (CIS’s) main responsibility is to support authors in identifying controlled trials for inclusion in Cochrane systematic reviews.
This can be done in a variety of ways:
- giving advice to authors on search methods (e.g., which databases to search and what subject headings and free text terms to use);
- designing and/or running search strategies;
- providing the author with details of reports of trials which may be eligible for inclusion in their reviews;
- ensuring search methods are documented in line with MECIR standards;
- facilitating the translation of reports which are eligible for inclusion in Cochrane reviews; and
- providing advice on the use of RevMan & Archie.
Cochrane Information Specialists also develop and maintain a Specialised Register for their group (either reference or study-based) that contains citations to reports of randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials. These reports are submitted for inclusion in CENTRAL in the Cochrane Library.
Other responsibilities may include obtaining copies of trial reports when necessary; and organising handsearching of journals, books, conference proceedings etc. in their field by volunteer or paid handsearchers.
Cochrane Information Specialists have an integral role in the production of Cochrane systematic reviews. Their individual remits vary according to local resources and practices within their review groups.