Cochrane Information Specialists (CIS) undertake different roles according to their Cochrane Entities' structure. In the majority of Review Groups the CIS's main responsibility is identifying controlled trials for inclusion in Cochrane systematic reviews. In other groups the 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:
- designing and/or running search strategies;
- ensuring search methods are documented in line with MECIR standards;
- giving advice to authors on search methods (e.g. which databases to search and what subject headings and free text terms to use);
- providing authors with details of reports of trials which may be eligible for inclusion in their reviews;
- supporting the use of RevMan & Archie and systematic review software;
- facilitating the translation of reports which are eligible for inclusion in Cochrane reviews; and
- annotating Cochrane content according to the PICO ontology;
Cochrane Information Specialists also develop and maintain a Specialised Register for their group (either reference or study-based) that contains citations to reports of randomised 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.
For more information on the role of CIS please see this editorial
Metzendorf MI, Featherstone RM. Ensuring quality as the basis of evidence synthesis: leveraging information specialists' knowledge, skills, and expertise. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 9. Art. No.: ED000125. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.ED000125.