Cochrane Information Specialist's (CIS) undertake different roles according to their Cochrane Entities' structure. In some groups the CIS’s main responsibility is to support authors in identifying controlled trials for inclusion in Cochrane systematic reviews. Each Cochrane Group will have different ways of supporting authors depending on available resources, but CISs may:
- design search strategies
- run searches in databases (including the Group’s Specialised Register)
- supply authors with the results from searches
- design search strategies for authors who will run the searches themselves
- provide advice and guidance to authors on how to run searches
- provide advice and guidance on which sources to search
- screen the results for relevant study designs
All support for authors should be based on the following key Cochrane resources about identifying studies for Cochrane reviews:
- MECIR stands for Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews. MECIR are the minimum standards for the conduct and reporting of new Cochrane intervention reviews, reporting of protocols and the planning, conduct and reporting of updates.
- The Cochrane Handbook, Chapter 6: Searching for Studies. This is the official document that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews on the effects of healthcare interventions.
- The Handbook for DTA reviews, Chapter 7: Searching for Studies
Cochrane Training also provides an online module to help with the design and structure of search strategies Searching for studies. These modules are targeted at Cochrane authors but they can be useful to CISs as well. You will need an Archie Account username and password to access this resource.